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Can I Sue My Employer for a Slip & Fall in Florida?

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When Can I Sue My Employer for a Slip and Fall Accident?

A slip-and-fall accident at work can change your life in a moment. Whether the accident occurs on a single level, like a slick walkway, or involves a fall from a height, the damage inflicted on your body can be severe. You may suffer broken bones, a concussion, spinal injuries, or other painful and potentially long-lasting damage.

If you’ve experienced a slip and fall injury while on the job in Florida, you may wonder whether or not you can sue your employer. The answer will hinge on the specifics of your case. A qualified Miami slip and fall attorney can explain when a lawsuit against your employer may be feasible and what other options you have for recovery if you are ineligible to sue.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Impact Your Ability to File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer?

Most Florida businesses are required by law to provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. This coverage gives employees who have been hurt during the course of their jobs a straightforward way to file a claim and recover certain damages that resulted from the injury, including medical expenses and lost wages. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance plan, which means you do not need to prove negligence on the part of your coworker, employer, or another party to recover damages.

While workers’ compensation coverage has many benefits for employees, it also limits their legal options following an accident. In nearly all cases, an employer who provides workers’ compensation coverage is immune from further liability for an accident. This immunity typically prevents injured employees from filing a lawsuit in civil court to recover other damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish, and punitive damages.

When Could a Lawsuit Be a Viable Option?

Most employees who experience slip and fall injuries at work must pursue their damages through a workers’ compensation claim. However, there are certain circumstances where you may have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The following situations may result in a valid claim. Each case is unique, so it is critical to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to fully understand your legal options.

Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Certain businesses may be exempt from participation in Florida’s workers’ compensation program, such as workplaces with fewer than four employees. Other employers may fail to obtain proper coverage, violating Florida’s state laws. In either case, if your employer does not have adequate workers’ compensation insurance, they do not have immunity from a civil lawsuit and could possibly be sued for your slip and fall injuries.

Your Accident Was Caused By a Third Party

You may perform your job in a complex workplace alongside third-party contractors. This situation is common on construction sites where vendors, subcontractors, and other outside parties are brought in for specific tasks. If your slip and fall accident is attributable to the negligence of one of these third-party contractors, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them to recover damages.

Defective products can also lead to workplace slip and fall injuries. If a malfunctioning piece of equipment or a product lacking adequate warning labels led to your accident, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer, designer, or distributor of the product.

Your Employer Engaged in Intentional Misconduct

Per Florida Statutes ยง 440.11, an employer can be held liable if they commit an intentional tort that causes an employee’s death or injury, regardless of whether they have workers’ compensation insurance. The statute requires the plaintiff to prove one of the following facts for a successful claim:

  • The employer deliberately injured the employee.
  • The employer engaged in conduct they should have known was virtually certain to cause injury or death, and they concealed the risks from the employee so they could not make an informed decision on whether or not to perform the task.

Your Employer Failed to Secure the Workers’ Compensation Payment Required by Law

If your employer does not handle your workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner or incorrectly denies a valid claim, you may have the option to sue. However, the laws surrounding these cases can be complex, so speaking with a skilled lawyer is highly recommended if you believe your claim has been mismanaged.

What Should You Do if You’ve Been Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident?

No one expects a slip-and-fall accident or another workplace injury to happen to them. Unfortunately, even though you may take every precaution to keep yourself safe, you could still become seriously hurt due to an on-the-job accident. If you find yourself in this situation, staying calm and focusing on your safety and well-being is crucial. Taking the following steps, if possible, can also help streamline your financial recovery process:

  • Seek immediate medical attention, even if your injuries initially appear minor.
  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene as soon as possible to capture what the area looked like at the time of your slip and fall.
  • Inform your supervisor of the accident and make a copy of your accident report.
  • Keep evidence of your damages, including doctor bills, prescription receipts, medical records, and income information.
  • Contact a trusted slip and fall lawyer before filing a workers’ compensation claim to ensure you understand your legal rights for recovery.

How Can Our Law Firm Help You?

Your ability to sue your employer or another responsible party for your slip and fall accident will depend on the details of your case. Our experienced lawyers at Galimidi Law can evaluate your claim and help you determine your legal options for recovering the full compensation you deserve, whether that involves filing for workers’ compensation or pursuing a civil lawsuit. Contact our law firm today at 305-692-0125 to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.

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