Can I Sue for a Workplace Injury?
November 20, 2018
Rather than make a claim against your employer for a work-related injury, you would typically go through your company's workers' compensation insurance, which avoids a suit in civil court. In fact, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for employees to obtain benefits, in most cases involving a workplace injury.
The work comp process eliminates the need to establish who was at fault. This "No Fault" approach means the workers' comp insurance pays the benefits, whether the accident and subsequent injuries were the employer or employee's fault. You also may be eligible for work comp benefits even if you are a temporary worker, part-time employee or designated as an independent contractor.
What would cause a workers' compensation claim to be denied?
If for any reason your claim for a workplace injury is denied, it is essential for you to find out why. An explanation is typically provided in the letter that you receive and common reasons for denial may include:
- failed to report the injury promptly
- asked by boss to keep injury under wraps
- work comp claim was not filed in time
- your injury was not compensable
- you did not receive medical treatments
- lack of evidence to support injury as work related
Since you cannot sue your employer in most cases for a job-related injury, wrongful or retaliatory termination is illegal in Florida. Moreover, medical care must be paid for by your employer, whether you miss time from work or not.
How Long Do I Have to File a Work Injury Claim?
Generally speaking, you have up to two years following a workplace accident to file workers' compensation injury claim. However, prior to filing a workers' compensation, you must have reported the injury within 30 days. Florida's workers' compensation laws provide medical and lost wage benefits be paid to an injured worker. Typically, the workers' compensation process is an exclusive remedy and you are not eligible to sue an employer for pain and suffering. If your workers' compensation claim is denied, don't despair. Like other personal injury insurance carriers, some work comp claims adjusters like to slow the process and delay payment. Since this can be financially devastating for most workers, contact a work comp lawyer at Schackow & Mercadante for a thorough evaluation of your denied claim today.