After a recent workplace injury, your employer tells you that you must seek workers’ compensation. As you know, workers’ compensation can cover the medical expenses and lost wages of employees injured on the job in Florida and elsewhere.
However, with the nature of your injury, you wonder if you would be able to sue your employer instead of seeking workers’ compensation. It would help to understand how workers’ compensation works and in which circumstances employees might be able to take legal action.
Basics of workers’ compensation
In most cases, workers’ compensation prevents injured workers from suing their employers. It is a no-fault program, meaning that even if someone was at fault for an accident, workers’ compensation should still cover you. For example, while you were walking across the factory floor, your co-worker sped around the corner on a forklift and knocked you down. Your co-worker admitted to not watching out and observing safety procedures, but workers’ compensation still applies.
Rare instances permitting litigation
Uncommonly, injured workers may sue their employers. In these cases, you would need a reason to believe your employer intentionally caused harm or committed a crime. An example might be your boss physically striking you during a disagreement or causing long-term emotional distress and anxiety by purposefully bullying or harassing you. If your employer committed fraud by intentionally keeping important information from you, which may have prevented a workplace injury had you known about it, you might also be able to sue.
Workers’ compensation law can be extremely complex, especially if you don’t know if you should file a workers’ comp claim or pursue legal action. Workers’ compensation claims are often denied, which may further complicate your situation. If you are dealing with a workplace injury, it may be in your best interest to speak with someone who has experience with the process.