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Hurt on the Job – Can You Get More than Just Worker’s Compensation Coverage?

In Florida, if you get hurt on the job, you can seek medical expenses and lost wages / earnings through your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance. The law requires all employers who are not very small companies to carry the insurance coverage that would pay only for your medical bills and lost earnings up to what is called a “maximum weekly wage” set forth by Statute. Otherwise, your boss / employer is immune from suit and protected and cannot be sued for other damage like pain and suffering, future medical needs, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, etc.

But, under some circumstances, you can still sue your boss for pain and suffering, future medical needs, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, etc. But when does that happen?

Florida law says you can sue your boss/employer for personal injuries (pain and suffering, future medical needs, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, etc) when he, she, or it acts intentionally or in a way that is virtually certain to cause death or great bodily harm. Take a look at the actual statute by clicking this link: www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2011/440.11.   

Now, if you sue your boss or employer for pain and suffering, future medical needs, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, etc. under the “virtual certainty”

In the case of Williams v. Gaffin Industrial Services, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1261a, 2012, the Defendant argued that the Plaintiff had already chosen to accept worker’s compensation benefits over going for and seeking personal injury damages for pain and suffering, future medical needs, mental anguish, loss of capacity to enjoy life, etc.

The Court dismissed the case. But the Plaintiff appealed to the 2nd District Court of Appeal. On May 25th, 2012, the 2nd District Court of Appeal overruled the case. The Court did so because the issue of whether or not the Plaintiff sought compensation benefits was outside the four corners of the complaint and not appropriately determined on a motion to dismiss. Also, Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.190(a) gave the Plaintiff the absolute right to amend once without leave of court.  

If you were attacked on the job by a coworker, put in a situation by your boss that your employer should have know would hurt you, call us to see if there is a legal way to avoid, pierce, get around, or get by worker’s compensation immunity. If you wanna sue your boss or employer for purposely hurting you or intentionally hurting you, call us to see if the law allows you to sue. If your boss or employer’s actions were virtually certain to cause you or a loved one great bodily injury or death, than you may be able to bring a case, lawsuit, cause of action, or claim against them.      

You can also email jonahwolfson@wolfsonlawfirm.com and he will call you back as soon as he can.