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.

If you have been injured and have questions about whether or not your may have rights outside of the Florida Worker’s Compensation Laws, please feel free to contact the experienced personal injury litigation attorneys at LeavenLaw to discuss your case at a free initial consultation.