The short answer to this question for workers in Florida is no, but there are still conditions under which a lawsuit could be filed. The typical workers’ comp claim will consist of reporting the injury to the employer and letting the employer decide if they want to open a claim. Employers have the right to contest any claim of injury by a worker, which means that the claim will then require submission to the Department of Workers Compensation individually without employer consent.
How workers’ comp works in Florida
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide immediate medical care for injured employees and replacement wages for any amount of time they may be unable to work due to the injury. What it does not include is standing to sue the employer for the injury unless there are extenuating circumstances. Those circumstances can arise when an experienced Florida workers’ compensation lawyer can investigate the injury scenario and find OSHA violations or evidence of negligence that led to injury causation.
Establishing employer negligence
There is a possibility that an employer can be sued when there is evidence of negligence in the workplace. Beyond OSHA violations, provable conditions such as requiring employees to work with defective equipment is potentially a situation where failure to provide a reasonable duty of care has occurred. Any time an employee sues an employer in Florida negligence is the primary claim. Lawsuits beyond workers’ compensation claims can also be filed for other negligent actions such as fraud, defamation, or intentional infliction of harm.