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Why can’t workers sue employers after an injury at work?

On Behalf of Scott Marshall Injury Attorneys | March 7, 2023 | Workers’ Compensation

Workers get hurt on the job every day in Florida. People slip in the spills that they were supposed to clean or hit themselves with tools while working on a construction site. Workers also end up in car crashes or injured because of a co-worker’s incompetence.

Those workers who are directly affected by a workplace incident are often desperate to mitigate their financial losses. There will likely be workers’ compensation coverage available, but there are limits to what a worker can expect from such benefits.

Workers’ compensation in Florida only replaces a portion of someone’s wages if they require a leave of absence or have a significant reduction in their earning potential. Being able to take an employer to court might help a worker recover the total economic impact of their work injuries. However, it is typically not an option for employees to sue their employers directly over a workplace injury.

Workers’ compensation protects employers from lawsuits

The Florida workers’ compensation system protects employers as much as it protects employees. Yes, workers are the ones who receive benefits, but companies receive protection from financial responsibility.

Companies typically don’t have to worry about lawsuits even if a worker suffers a catastrophic injury or dies on the job. Under Florida law, they typically don’t have any direct liability for a worker’s losses after a job-related injury.

The no-fault coverage provided through workers’ compensation absolves businesses of direct responsibility for a worker’s injuries while also removing the obligation to prove fault from the claims process. Unfortunately for workers with catastrophic losses, the no-fault system does mean they will usually have to absorb a portion of the economic impact themselves.

However, there are a small handful of circumstances in which workers could potentially still bring a lawsuit against their employers. A company not having workers’ compensation insurance leaves it open to a lawsuit. Civil claims may also be possible in cases involving a company causing intentional injury to its workers and in a small variety of other cases involving severe misconduct on the part of the business.

Learning more about workers’ compensation rules and their exceptions can benefit those who are hoping to recover financially after a serious injury at work. By seeking legal guidance, workers can better ensure that they receive the maximum value of the compensation they’re due.