Construction sites are among the most dangerous workplaces in Florida. Those on-the-job work from heights, dodge moving objects, face the threat of slips, trips and falls, toil down in the trenches and encounter hazardous chemicals, toxic materials and live electricity.
But it is ever possible for a worker injured in a construction accident to sue? The answer is yes, it’s possible, though as our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers can explain, it’s usually a third-party liability lawsuit rather than a direct lawsuit against one’s employer. The reason for this has to do with Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. Specifically, F.S. 440.11 holds that workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy of injury claims by an employee against an employer UNLESS:
- The worker is not actually the company’s employee.
- The employer committed an intentional tort that caused the injury or death of an employee (deliberately intending to injure the employee or engaging in conduct that, based on prior similar accidents or explicit warnings, they knew was virtually certain to result in injury/death to the employee and the employee didn’t know about the risk).
- The employer didn’t secure workers’ compensation insurance, as they were required by law.
It is very tough to prove employers in construction site accidents committed an intentional tort. Most claims stem from the other two exceptions. Continue reading