Nearly 70,000 men and women are injured to some capacity on the job in Florida. Unfortunately, only a handful of workers are aware of their rights to receive medical care and money benefits after their accident. Workers' Compensation Laws differ between states because each state enacts their own rules on how medical and money benefits will be provided to the injured workers. We will examine Florida’s laws regarding workplace accidents.
If you get hurt on the job, you are required to let your supervisor know within 30 days of the accident. In cases where you’re exposed to a toxic substance, where you have no way of realizing that you’ve been hurt, you are allowed to report the injury within 30 days of the date you became aware of both the problem and that it is work-related.
You will be asked to supply information for a First Notice of Injury form, which goes from your Employer to the Insurance Carrier. This form provides details as to what parts of the body were affected by this injury. It is strongly recommended that you report every injury... read article
Florida has close to 250,000 vehicle crashes every year. What is the most common cause? Careless driving; meaning that the driver was not paying attention to traffic, was impaired while driving, or many other things. A person's life can be changed forever after an auto accident. They could sustain a mental or physical disability, limiting their means to exist as the human being they used to be. Meanwhile, the careless driver that caused the accident is living comfortably and isn't suffering any major consequences. Sometimes, the victims don’t know how to handle the situation, and are intimidated by how the court system works.
This is where a personal injury and auto accident lawyer can come into play. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident, a personal injury attorney can help you deal with car insurance companies and will ensure that there will be fair treatment in settlement negotiations. Here are some other benefits to consider:
Experience Dealing with Car Insurance Companies
Many people don’t deal with auto insurance companies much, and are unfamiliar with all of their policies and... read article
The Volkswagen emissions scandal is one of the most disturbing and harmful scandals to the people of the United States and across the world. Also known as the “diesel dupe,” this scandal arose after the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), discovered that Volkswagen cars being sold in the United States contained a device capable of adjusting the performance and emission regulations of their vehicles. In other words, this “defeat device,” allowed the cars to detect whether they were being operated in a lab or on the open highway, automatically adjusting their emissions accordingly.
Prior to the scandal, Volkswagen and its subsidiary Audi had been recognized as one of the leaders of clean diesel fueled cars. This “clean” diesel vehicle would provide more miles per gallon, lower cost of operation, and most importantly, technology that would eliminate the high emissions of pollution commonly associated with diesel cars. It turned out to be a complete and utter lie.
This deceptive tactic not only was a blatant lie, it contradicted everything that their advertising promised. Instead of limiting diesel emissions, these Volkswagen vehicles... read article
If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision that was the fault of another party, you're probably eligible for damage compensation. Since every person is unique, every case is unique too. Your medical expenses should be taken care of, but there are other elements of compensation that will help you get through this tough time.
Past, Present and Future Income Compensation
If you were employed at the time of the accident, you can recover a sum equal to the net value of your lost earnings due to your injury. If you've been rendered less marketable in the employment market as a result of your injuries, and cannot take advantage of all of the opportunities in the job market available for you had you not been injured, you may well be entitled to loss of future income too. The combination of past, present, and future income compensation can offer you that steady ground to get back on your feet.
Loss Of Enjoyment In Life
Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are known as non-pecuniary damages. Any person injured through the fault of another in... read article
Over six months ago, the EPA and CARB, California’s state air pollution monitor, revealed that Volkswagen had been cheating on its diesel emissions tests. It wasn’t just fudging around the edges by optimizing its emissions for test conditions, either – the company had installed what they called a “defeat device” into all of their diesel engines. This device switches certain systems on or off when it detects that the car is being tested, and outside those conditions the diesel engines can produce up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides, the gas that causes acid rain.
Unfortunately, it’s very often true that when one person or company cheats to get ahead and gets away with it, the competition will follow suit in order to keep up. VW’s example has cast doubt upon the entire industry, and at this point a number of non-government environmental groups have performed “real world” emissions tests which show that virtually every diesel personal car exceeds the legal limits outside of the test lab, and even many gasoline engines produce too much carbon dioxide.
Building... read article
A fair number of politicians at both the state and federal level like to use two words, “tort reform,” as the single best means to cure government overspending. However, considering that “tort” isn’t a commonly used word, it’s not always clear to the public what a tort even is or why it matters to the budget, let alone how we can best reform it.
What Is A Tort?
In the first place, the United States justice system is divided into two general areas: civil and criminal. In criminal cases, the prosecution is always the government, most often the state government, and the penalties assigned to a guilty party are prison time and government fines. Cases deal with criminal acts like theft and assault, but even if there’s a victim involved that victim won’t see any compensation or repayment for a loss from a criminal trial.
Civil law, on the other hand, covers just about everything that isn’t specifically a crime. There are no prosecutors, only plaintiffs, and the court assigns fault rather than determining guilt. A government can be a plaintiff or a defendant in a civil case, but a government... read article
When it comes to personal injury cases (along with several other areas of civil law), people often have two alternatives: they can go to court and pass through the usual phases of discovery, negotiation, and either reach a settlement or go to trial, or they can present their case to a small arbitration board for a (supposedly) quicker and cheaper result.
But what exactly are the pros and cons of each approach?
Everyone has a right to a trial by jury, whether it’s a criminal case or a civil one. And while we’d like to imagine that our justice system is as objective as possible, there’s always at least some bias so long as there’s a human making a decision.
When it comes to personal injury cases, juries tend to favor underdogs and powerful narratives. They will also consider the evidence, of course, but if the case is still unclear even with all the evidence (and if the case got as far as a trial it’s probably unclear), then a good narrative may be a crucial tipping point.
On the other hand, the members of an arbitration... read article
For the most part, personal injury cases are all about discovering who is at fault, or liable, for the injury in question. If the act is intentional and malicious, then finding fault is easy, and since malicious, harmful acts are usually illegal all the real action will happen in the criminal case that goes along with it. If the act is accidental or the injury happens due to negligence, then the civil case will stand alone.
However, there are times when a civil defendant is not at fault but can still be held liable, and when this happens it’s called strict liability.
In the military, it’s commonly held that an officer is responsible for the actions of his or her subordinates, even if that subordinate should happen to act against orders. The officer should have trained out such insubordination in the first place, or so the justification goes.
The way strict liability works is very similar to this. A company, landowner, or pet owner may not be directly to blame, and he or she may have taken every reasonable precaution against accidents and other unfortunate events, but if the doctrine... read article
When it comes to dangerous product defects, American courts operate on a doctrine called “strict liability,” which means that a plaintiff doesn’t need to prove the manufacturer could have avoided the defect by being careful enough, but only that the product is defective and that it caused an injury. This means that product liability cases can be easier to resolve than they otherwise might be, but at the same time it’s not a good idea to sue people at the drop of a dented hat.
Are You Certain A Defective Product Caused A Personal Injury?
There are a lot of different ways a situation can go wrong and end with a physical injury or a drop in property value. For instance, if a climbing piton wriggles loose and the climber who was anchored to it falls and hurts himself, it could be that the piton’s manufacturer made it out of low-quality metal or stamped it in the wrong shape. However, it’s also possible that the climber didn’t pound it home correctly or else the surrounding rock broke loose on its own, and in either case the piton’s quality... read article
The past two years have completely blown away the previous records for most recalled vehicles, and while much of that is due to a tougher regulatory atmosphere, a significant percentage of those recalls are related to Takata’s utter failure to manufacture safe air bags throughout the past decade. More vehicles have been recalled thanks to Takata air bags than for any other single recall in history, in part because Takata put its faulty air bags in vehicles made by most major car companies.
Supplies Versus Safety
Because of the scale of this recall, Takata is having trouble manufacturing enough replacement parts for the incredible 24 million vehicles (and counting) which need them. Even Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is reportedly waiting in line for a replacement air bag.
The air bags aren’t the only recall where demand exceeds the supply, although they’re in the worst shape by far. Because recalls are performed at the car company’s expense, including both the parts and the service costs, and since they have to spend even more money to get the word out, automakers... read article
Here’s the short answer: yes. Throughout most of the United States, and most certainly in Florida, both US citizens and all foreign nationals regardless of immigration status have the ability to file personal injury lawsuits for all the usual reasons. Whether you’re an immigrant with a green card, an undocumented foreign resident, or a visitor on a student or tourist visa, if you suffer a personal injury on US soil, you are free to seek compensation from the responsible parties.
A Difference Of Jurisdiction
The United States judicial system isn’t a single network of courts which all handle every kind of case and all fall under the same authority. There’s a distinction between civil and criminal cases, for instance, and there’s another distinction between tort law, which is what covers personal injuries, and immigration law, which is where the government decides what to do about both documented and undocumented visitors. In fact, most tort cases are handled at the state level while the federal government has the exclusive power to deal with immigration.
Personal injury laws are kept completely separate from immigration status, and they’re kept that way for... read article
Americans need to reassess their attitudes when it comes to their views on what constitutes safe and unsafe driving. If we, as public citizens, do not acknowledge how dangerous our on-road behavior has become, we are going to continue to be by victimized injuries that could have easily been avoided if we had simply changed our thinking. The biggest culprit in this is distracted driving, which is ironic considering the strides we’ve made in other areas of driving safety and driver behavior.
Today, fortunately, most of America is aware of just how dangerous drunk driving is. Through years of education, and sad stories in the nightly news about young and old lives snuffed out through the actions of someone driving under the influence, there is a real stigma against drunk driving. The legal precedents behind drunk driving have also contributed a lot to making drunk driving a much rarer offense than it was in decades past, since a conviction can result in losing the privilege to drive or even jail time.
It Only Seems Less Serious
Distracted driving, on the other hand, still doesn’t have that same kind negative connotation... read article
Florida isn’t called “the sunshine state” for nothing, and is blessed with some of the mildest, most pleasant weather in all of America. That means that throughout the entire year, whether it is summer vacation, or Christmas holidays, there are always visitors to our great state that are trying to enjoy the environment that we take for granted every day of the year.
But with that increased flow of visitors, that also means that there’s a greater chance of accidents occurring. Sometimes, this may be a simple matter of a fender bender with someone that’s come in from out of state who was just unfamiliar with the traffic in a particular part of town. Other times, it may be more drastic, such as an international visitor from the United Kingdom, whose European driving reflexes kicked and put the car on the wrong side of the road, leading to an accident.
In most cases, when an accident occurs, the people involved will need to look at many factors before deciding whether or not there are grounds for taking a case to court. But what happens when the... read article
If you have a good job with a steady salary and benefits, it seems almost inconceivable that the system that is taking such good care of you now could fail. The reason, after all, that most people choose to work with a company is that there’s an understanding that you are now working for management that is looking out for your professional interests in exchange for you doing what you are told.
Normally, you’d expect that if you were just following orders and somehow, over the course of work, you received an injury through no fault of your own, then this also would be a straightforward series of events. After all, the words “workers compensation” are self-explanatory and indicate that a person’s injuries or sufferings in the line of work will be paid for—along with other possible expenses—by the company that put the worker in this potentially harmful situation in the first place.
And yet sometimes this doesn’t happen. But why? And what can you do about it if it happens to you?
When Things Go Wrong
Going to court for workers compensation occurs when... read article
The 21st century is filled with all kinds of impressive new technological wonders, from virtual reality to the Internet, but one of the most interesting—and potentially dangerous—developments is the rising public access to the drone.
The drone was originally a remotely operated flying vehicle used by the American military to conduct both reconnaissance and actual attacks on enemy locations. But in the decades since the technology first came into use, the cost and secrecy behind drones have gone down. In the 21st century, anyone can simply buy a drone from a store and use it for recreational purposes. But, as with cars, guns and even swimming pools, accidents can happen.
So what happens to you legally if you sustain an injury because of someone operating a drone?
As of December, 2015, the United States Federal Aviation Administration now requires that anyone over the age of 13 who owns a drone over the weight of .55 and under 55 lbs must register for drone ownership. Once a drone owner has applied, they receive a unique license number, which must then be reproduced and affixed to every drone they... read article
A tree is not something that most people would immediately recognize as a threat. After all, they don’t move, often provide pleasant shade during sunny days and, in some cases, bear delicious fruit that we all enjoy. But a tree in a human environment such as a town or a city is still a wild, uncontrolled, organism that will attempt to grow as much as it can, and, because of its organic nature, can fall prey to illness and even death.
As such, despite the fact that we want trees to beautify our urbanized environments, they still bring with them an element of risk, whether they are in public places like parks, or in someone’s backyard or front lawn, overlooking the sidewalk.
Trees, as difficult as it may be to believe, can actually injure people, and not through being the obstacles a car collides into, which is not the tree’s fault. The roots can rise up above the soil and cause people to trip, while the branches themselves can literally fall from the main body of the tree, striking people below. Without proper trimming, trees can... read article