Florida’s workers’ comp insurance is mandatory for employers with four or more workers. Employers in the construction industry must provide workers’ compensation insurance for all their employees, regardless of their size. This arrangement enables insured workers to recover medical bills and lost wages for work-related injuries regardless of fault. Usually, a Miami workers’ compensation lawyer assists them with the process.
Under workers’ comp, Florida employers can choose between private or state insurance. They may also self-insure if they like. While work comp insurance centers around the employees, employers enjoy some advantages in the arrangement too. One of such privileges is Florida’s workers’ compensation immunity.
To benefit fully from the system, all workers must understand what immunity is about. If you’d like a detailed explanation of what work comp immunity entails, this article is for you. In it, we’ll also discuss the damages that’ll be available to you under the work comp immunity exceptions.
What’s Workers’ Compensation Immunity?
Generally, everyone has the right to sue anyone whose negligence has caused them bodily injury and property damage. By filing a personal injury claim, they can get maximum compensation for injuries. In those cases, the at-fault parties may or may not have had insurance coverage for the injuries they caused. However, this is hardly the case with employment, and employers must have an insurance policy for injured employees.
In return for that gesture, injured workers lose their rights to file an injury lawsuit against their employers. That’s because Florida’s workers’ compensation rules grant them immunity from lawsuits. With the workers’ compensation immunity, employees lose their right to some types of compensation, like punitive damages.
What Are the Exceptions to Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Immunity?
There are some exceptions to Florida’s workers’ compensation immunity. These exceptions allow injured employees to file a lawsuit and get additional compensation benefits:
Intentional Torts and Gross Negligence
First of all, the workers’ compensation isn’t fault-based. So, no one considers fault in the claims process, and injured workers can’t bring a claim for single negligence. However, you can push the work comp immunity aside when there is evidence of intentional tort or gross negligence.
To prove an intentional tort, you show that the employer knew that specific action would harm you but did it anyway. You must also show that you weren’t aware of the risk because your employer intentionally concealed it. Finally, for gross negligence, you show that your employer extremely disregarded your safety.
No Workers’ Compensation Insurance
While Florida’s laws mandate certain employers to get workers’ compensation insurance, some may refuse to do so. They may find paying premiums to be financially draining for them. They may also reason that their employee’s jobs expose them to low risks of accidents.
So, once you discover that your employer has no insurance, you can get your benefits via a lawsuit. Then, all you must do is talk to your work comp attorneys. They know how to go about it.
Negligent Third-Party Lawsuits
Let’s say that a drunk driver rammed into you as you drove the company car to deliver a work item. The drunk driver is at-fault for the vehicle accident. Therefore, you can file a personal injury claim against them instead of seeking workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Denial in Bad Faith
Sometimes, your employer can deny your work comp claim for flimsy or illegitimate reasons. In such cases, you can contest the denial in a lawsuit.
What Damages Will I Recover in a Lawsuit?
In a lawsuit, you may receive more compensation for your injuries than in a work comp claim. It all depends on your case’s specifics and how good your attorney is. In a lawsuit, you can get the following benefits:
- Economic damages like lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, etc
- Non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, etc
- Punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter others
Contact Our Miami Workers’ Comp Attorneys Now!
As an injured employee in Florida, you must explore the workers’ compensation system. When that fails, you can file a lawsuit against your employer or a third party, depending on your case’s specifics. Regardless of the method you use to get your compensation benefits, you’ll need a Miami workers’ comp lawyer.
Fortunately, our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to make the process easy for you. From start to finish, our sole aim is to get you the best compensation benefits possible. You can always trust us to bring you 100% satisfaction in that regard. So, give us a call today.