Labor Law Injury Attorneys In Florida
If you were injured on the job in Florida, you may have questions about your legal rights. The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP, which has headquarters in Florida, has decades of experience successfully representing clients in personal injury lawsuits. Our firm offers free, no-obligation legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing an injury claim.
Florida, as well as other states in the country, offers workers’ compensation to employees who were injured at work. For the most part, this prevents personal injury lawsuits against the employer. However, a personal injury claim may still be filed under special circumstances.
Litigation can recover damages for lost wages that were not paid by workers’ compensation, as well as mental anguish and pain and suffering.
Our Florida labor law attorneys work on a contingency fee. In other words, the client only pays attorneys’ fees for a successful case that obtains damages. The fee is taken as a percentage of the amount rewarded. You do not pay unless we win your case. Call us today with any questions you may have about filing a claim.
Florida Workplace Injuries and Workers’ Compensation
Injured workers in Florida are usually barred from suing their employers for an occupational injury. This is due to the exclusive remedy provision of the Florida workers’ compensation law, which mandates that hurt workers obtain benefits through workers’ compensation.
Florida employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage to all employees under Chapter 440, Florida Statutes. The state passed this law in order to “assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured worker.” An injured worker can receive medical treatment and benefits through workers’ compensation, regardless of who caused the accident. The employee does not need to prove negligence in this case.
Under Florida law, you must report any occupational injuries to your supervisor within 30 days of the accident. Oftentimes, you will be asked to fill out a First Notice of Injury form. Your employer will give this form to the insurance carrier, providing details of your injury. Give as many details about your injury as possible, as the insurance company is inclined to deny your claim. We also advise injured workers to document the incident as best they can. Take pictures of your injury and of the scene; for example, if you slipped and fell, take pictures of the wet and slippery floor.
If you are looking to receive compensation for a workplace injury in Florida, you may have a difficult road ahead. Generally, Florida state laws tend to favor businesses, which could translate poorly for employees seeking workers’ compensation benefits. At Parker Waichman, our workers’ compensation attorneys have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions you may have about a workplace injury.
When Can an Injured Worker Sue in Florida?
Most workplace injury claims in Florida will fall under workers’ compensation and subsequently prevent personal injury litigation. However, there are still situations where you can sue for a workplace injury. Specifically, an injured worker can file a personal injury claim against a third party.
Examples of liable third parties may include:
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Maintenance companies
For example, you are working on a construction site and become injured when a bulldozer runs over your foot. The bulldozer is operated by someone who works for a separate contracting company, so you do not have the same employer. You can receive workers’ compensation benefits through your employer, and you may also file a personal injury lawsuit against the third-party contractor due to negligence. In this case, you can recover damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost wages not covered by workers’ compensation.
Personal injury claims require plaintiffs to prove that the defendant was negligent, or careless, in a way that caused their injury. You must show that the defendant breached their duty of care, and that this resulted in your injury. You must also demonstrate that this injury caused damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Technically, Florida workers can also file intentional torts but these are nearly impossible to prove. In the 2000 Florida Supreme Court case Turner v. PCR, the court ruled that the employer is not shielded from liability if the injured worker can show that the employer “should have known” that a certain action placed employees at risk.
Florida law was subsequently revised to include this court ruling, but the law is not reflective of the court’s findings.
The law states that workers’ compensation does not bar litigation in cases when the worker “proves by clear and convincing evidence that the employer deliberately intended to injure the employee” or “engaged in conduct that the employer knew, based on prior similar accidents or on explicit warnings specifically identifying a known danger, was virtually certain to result in injury or death to the employee.”
Furthermore, the law states that the employee must not have been aware of the danger and the employer must have intentionally concealed or misrepresented the danger.
Requiring plaintiffs to show that the employer actually knew of the danger, instead proving that they “should have known”, makes litigation much harder.
At Parker Waichman, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you with your injury claim. You have a limited amount of time to sue, so call us today if you have any questions.
Florida Construction Injuries and Accidents
In Florida and elsewhere in the country, the construction industry has the greatest risk of occupational injury.
Examples of construction accidents include:
- Falls from high elevations, such as scaffolding, roofs or ladders
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Injuries from falling debris and falling objects
- Slippery surfaces
- Electrical injuries from exposed wiring
- Faulty equipment
- Injuries related to cranes, bulldozers, forklifts and other heavy machinery
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the construction industry has the highest number of occupational deaths and injuries.
Filing a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit involving an accident that occurred in Florida, contact one of our Florida accident attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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