Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

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constructionNegligence forms the basis of most personal injury claims. In Florida work accident cases, Florida workers’ compensation law typically bars an employee from litigating against the employer. This is because workers’ compensation is intended to be the exclusive remedy for an accidental injury or death suffered on the job. However, in certain cases, Florida law allows employees to pursue a general negligence claim against an employer. Negligence is the failure of a defendant to use reasonable care, resulting in harm to the injured party.

In Broward Executive Builders, Inc., v. Liliana Zota, as Guardian of Mercedes Zota, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida recently reversed a jury verdict in favor of an injured worker and directed a verdict for the construction company.

A worker by the name of Mercedes Zota fell and sustained injuries while painting a ceiling above a second-floor catwalk in a home that was under construction. At the time of the accident, Mercedes was using a stepladder and two scaffolds positioned upon the catwalk to reach and paint the ceiling. The evidence at trial showed that the catwalk lacked the required guardrails in place to comply with the guidelines set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The jury ultimately ruled in favor of the injured worker and against the construction company.

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hospitalIf you were injured at your workplace, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Workers’ compensation cases can be complicated to navigate, and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference.

In the case of Limith v. Lenox on the Lake, a worker was injured in a workplace accident while working for an assisted living community in South Florida known as Lenox on the Lake. The worker subsequently filed a Petition for Benefits (PFB) in 2011. Under Florida law, a PFB is the document that starts the lawsuit. The PFB contains the disputed issues and is filed with the workers’ compensation court system.

A Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) reviewed the petition and then dismissed it but reserved jurisdiction over the employee’s claim for legal fees and costs. In 2013, the JCC denied the employer’s request to dismiss the employee’s claim for lack of prosecution. Florida Statute Section 440.25(4)(i) allows a judge to dismiss a PFB for lack of prosecution if there has been no recorded activity in the prior 12 months.

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courtIf someone close to you has died due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover compensation under Florida law. We know that the sudden loss of a loved one can be an enormously heartbreaking for family members. Our goal is to help families get the compensation they deserve for the loss of a loved one. While no amount of money can undo the harm, the money can help address the financial burdens that come with such a tragedy.

In Morales v. Zenith Ins. Co., a worker was crushed to death by a palm tree while working at an employer’s lawn maintenance business. The case was decided by the Supreme Court of Florida. Later, the worker’s widow agreed to accept workers’ compensation benefits. The contract through which she accepted workers’ compensation relieved the company from any further legal accountability in the case. In other words, the agreement stated that the workers’ compensation would be the widow’s sole remedy.

Some time later, the widow filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the company. The widow obtained a default judgment in the amount of just over $9.5 million. At this point, the company refused to pay the damages. A second lawsuit was filed in which the widow compelled the company’s insurer to pay the judgment. Continue reading →

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ambulanceUnfortunately, workplace injuries happen every day in the state of Florida and throughout the United States. If you have been harmed on the job, you should seek the help of an experienced Miami personal injury attorney who can examine the facts of your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Robert Dixon has years of experience handling a variety of personal injury claims, and he can help you as well.

In Fortune v. Gulf Coast Tree Care, Inc., a Florida appellate court ruled that an employer that had actual knowledge that its employee had been injured on the job was liable for the employee’s medical expenses even through the employee never formally asked the employer to pay for such expenses.

The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff worked as a landscaper and was going to a gated community to provide an estimate to a potential client. As he made his way to the client, an individual who lived in the community punched him through the window of his car. The plaintiff suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to be treated at a local emergency room at a nearby hospital. The treating physician advised the plaintiff to obtain follow-up care. Continue reading →