Can I Sue My Employer For Negligence?

Too often, businesses and employers get away with negligence. After all, many companies are equipped with a team of lawyers and lots of money. It’s hard to compete if you are just an employee. 

If you were hurt on the job, you may wonder about your legal rights. Perhaps your injuries are severe enough that you are thinking about filing a lawsuit

So, can you sue your employer for negligence in Florida? In general, no. But, like many answers in the legal world, there are a few exceptions. 

Workers’ Compensation Laws in Florida 

Like many states, Florida has a strict set of workers’ compensation laws. This is an insurance-based system that pays employees for work-related injuries. In most cases, an employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. 

Workers’ compensation is not based on fault. You can recover benefits even if you are responsible for causing the injury. It also means you can recover money even if your employer wasn’t negligent and you got hurt in an accident or random and unforeseeable incident.

The workers’ compensation system has many benefits but also some drawbacks. It allows people to access compensation quickly, no matter who is responsible. It also means that in many situations, you can’t file a lawsuit against your employer, even for negligence. That can limit the damages that are available to you. Essentially, you must go through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance and are stuck with what they agree to pay. 

Exceptions To Workers’ Compensation: When You May Be Able to Sue Your Employer 

Fortunately, there are some exceptions to the workers’ compensation regime. These exceptions allow someone to file a lawsuit against their employer in certain situations. 

The first exception is if the employer intentionally hurt you. This is called an intentional tort. It can be something as bad as an assault or something more innocent like pulling a prank at work. To prove an intentional tort, you must show that your employer knew or should have known that their action would cause your injury. 

Another common exception is if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. Without workers’ compensation insurance, you are entitled to sue your employer for negligence. That’s because you don’t have the option of pursuing compensation in the insurance-based system. Without this exception, employees would have no legal recourse to hold negligent employers responsible. That wouldn’t be fair.

Benefits of Filing a Lawsuit Over Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Many people want to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of resolving a case through workers’ compensation. The main benefit is that you can recover more damages through a lawsuit than through a workers’ compensation claim.

In a workers’ compensation case, you are usually only entitled to reimbursement for medical bills and lost wages. However, this is usually only a portion of your total losses. Plus, the insurance company will almost always try to argue that you were not disabled in part or whole.

In a personal injury lawsuit, however, you can request damages for many different types of losses associated with an injury or an accident. 

This may include:

There is much more compensation available to you if you resolve your case in court rather than through insurance. However, it’s not always possible. A St. Petersburg workers’ compensation lawyer can help you determine if you can file a lawsuit against your employer or if you need to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Contact the Pinellas County Workplace Accident Law Firm Of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers for Help

For more information, please contact the Clearwater and St. Petersburg car accident law firm of Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve in Pinellas County and its surrounding areas:

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater
1875 N Belcher Rd. STE 201,
Clearwater, FL 33765,
United States
(727) 796-8282

Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg
2560 1st Ave S,
St. Petersburg, FL 33712,
United States
(727) 349-1728