Types of Work-Related Injuries

Types of Work-Related Injuries

In Florida, work-related injuries are regulated by Florida Statutes, Section 440 et seq. In most cases, a hurt worker cannot sue their employer for negligence. Why? Florida has established a statutory scheme wherein both the worker and the employer have protections in the event of a work-place related injury. The employee has the advantage of knowing that, in most cases, the employer is required to have insurance to assist the hurt worker with medical treatment and lost wages. Conversely, the employer has the peace of min in knowing that, if something deos happen that gravely injres one if its employees, they will not be liable in tort to the employee for pain and suffering; their insurance will protect them and try to compensate the hurt worker. A win-win in an otherwise bad sitations. Below are some of the most common work-place related injuries that occur on the job in Florida:


Personal Injury Lawsuit Available?

There are several common situations where a hurt worker may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit in addition to a workers' compensation claim against their employer. Those situations include the following:

Product Liability Actions

On occasion, a hurt worker will be injured by using defective or unreasonably dangerous equipment. Alternatively, the worker could be hurt as the result of a dangerously deficient instructions or warnings in relation to the operation of the equipment. Fault for such defective product or instruction associated with the product is the fault of a third party (e.g., the manufacturer, distributor, or installer of the equipment). In such situations, it may be possible for the hurt worker to bring a product liability action (i.e., a negligence action) against that third party despite the injury occurring in the workplace. Such possible case is not governed by the worker’s comp “exclusive remedy” provision.

Third Party on Employer's Premises

If a third-party (i.e., non-employee) is on the employer’s premises and is responsible for an act which causes injury to the employee, a third party negligence cause of action, filed in a Florida court, might be available to the hurt worker. For example, a contractor may be performing window repairs on the employer's building, and drop a tool on a worker's arm, or a warehouse foreman may injure an employee by hitting him or her with a forklift. If a third party truly cause the employee injury and has no employment relationship with the hurt worker's employer, it may be possible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that person (and possibly also that person's employer) in state court. Such possible case is similarly not governed by the worker’s comp “exclusive remedy” provision.

Injury Occurring On Somebody Else's Premises

On occasion, an employee will be performing employment duties away from his or her jobsite and will suffer injury due to the conduct of a non-employee. As an example, consider a secretary delivering papers and becoming involved in a car accident. In such case, he or she will usually be able to sue the third-party driver who caused the accident in addition to claiming workers' compensation against his or her employer. These factual situations can be very complicated. If you feel that you have been injured away from the place where you typically work by a person not associated with your employer while you were performing worked related activities, it is best to contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorneys to discuss your rights. Again, you may have not only a worker’s compensation claim, but possibly a claim outside the “exclusive remedy” provision of the Florida worker’s comp laws against the non-employer.

Intentional Torts

If a hurt worker’s employer actually intends to harm the worker, the exclusive remedy provision of Florida’s workers' compensation laws will not govern and the hurt worker may bring a lawsuit in civil court against his or her employer. It is important to understand that this does not apply in situations where the employer acts with gross indifference, or creates an obviously hazardous working environment. Instead, it means the employer must have actual intent to cause harm to the employee (e.g., boss punches employee in the nose). Due to its narrow nature of this exception to the “exclusive remedy” provision of Florida’s worker’s compensation laws, this exception is rarely triggered.

One of the most common contexts where a hurt worker may have a personal injury claim against a third-party despite the workplace related nature of the injury is within the context of building construction cases. It is not unusual for workers from multiple contractors or subcontractors to be working at the same time on the same construction site. As such, it would not be uncommon for a construction injury to have been caused by the negligence of a some other contractor—other than your immediate boss--who remains subject to potential personal injury litigation.

Again, these situations can be complex and difficult to determine who has “immunity” from common law personal injury lawsuits in a workplace injury context. As such, it is critical to meet with an attorney that has experience in both worker’s compensation and personal injury litigation. At LeavenLaw, our litigation team has decades of experience in injury litigation, whether in state court of the Worker’s Compensation court, the OJCC. Please feel free to contact us today to discuss your workplace injury case.

LeavenLaw is a consumer protection law firm that helps hurt workers receive just compensation for their workplace related injuries and losses that result therefrom. LeavenLaw is not just another law firm; it is a highly experienced law firm with an excellent track record at handling workers’ compensation cases throughout Central Florida. Assisting hurt workers and dealing with on-the-job Injuries is what it and its attorneys do for a living, and do very well. LeavenLaw serves clients throughout the State of Florida from its centrally located offices in Tampa Bay and Orlando, Florida to best meet your needs.

If your workplace injury is serious, it is imperative that your legal rights are protected. This is where LeavenLaw can help you. It is critical that you do the research to find a reputable and capable worker’s compensation attorney to assist you in the is imperative, trying time. A law firm with experience, resources and a long-standing track record of success is what you need. LeavenLaw believes its success is based not only on its previous client results, but is based upon the personal relationships it has built with its clients over the last four decades.

To assist you, LeavenLaw’s website discusses its overall legal practice and its attorneys’ credentials. It further provides powerful educational information on Florida Workers’ Compensation Law. Remember, every hurt worker’s case is unique and deserves to be evaluated on its own, independent basis. Please contact LeavenLaw for a free consultation before making a decision about legal representation. You will speak with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney directly, not a staff member.

In the end, LeavenLaw welcomes the challenges offered by difficult cases involving serious injuries and complex issues. If you have been injured on the job due to a workplace related incident, do not hesitate to call and talk to us. You deserve to know your valuable Legal Rights.