Construction sites are known for their inherent risks and hazards. If a construction worker is injured in an on-the-job accident, they may wonder whether they can sue their employer for compensation—beyond workers’ compensation.
Understanding workers' compensation
Workers' compensation is a system designed to provide financial and medical benefits to employees who suffer injuries or illnesses in the course of their employment. In most cases, workers' compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that injured employees are entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Workers' compensation benefits typically cover medical expenses, lost wages and rehabilitation costs.
Can you also sue your employer?
In many situations, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy available to employees. This means that injured workers cannot sue their employers for additional damages, even if the employer's negligence contributed to the accident. However, there are exceptions to this rule:
- Intentional harm: If an employer intentionally caused harm to an employee or acted with gross negligence, the injured worker may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages beyond workers' compensation benefits. However, proving intentional harm or gross negligence can be challenging.
- Third-party liability: While workers' compensation typically prevents employees from suing their employers, it doesn't preclude them from filing a lawsuit against third parties who may have contributed to their injuries. For example, if a defective piece of equipment or a subcontractor's negligence led to the accident, the injured worker could pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party.
Determining whether a construction worker can sue their employer for an on-the-job accident is complex and depends on various factors, including the specific circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws Florida.
If you're a construction worker who has been injured in a workplace accident, contact a seasoned Sarasota, FL personal injury attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh today. We can assess the details of your case, explain your rights and guide you through the legal process.