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People Over Profits - Protect Your Legal Rights!
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According to Florida statute of limitations section 767.04 “The owner of any dog that bites any person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by persons bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owners’ knowledge of such viciousness.”

In Florida, you are strictly liable for any injury or damage caused by a dog. To file a lawsuit for a dog bite, the Florida statute of limitations section 95.11(3)(a) allows four years after the date of the injury. This injury must be a dog bite to be covered by the statute. However, if it’s another type of injury caused by a dog proving that it was caused by the owner’s negligence might be liable.

In addition, Florida law applies the law of comparative negligence, which implies that the injured victim’s compensation claim is lowered by the proportion of culpability he or she holds in the assault. Dog bite injuries are included in this comparative negligence.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM coverage) is additional car insurance that pays for medical bills, car damages, and expenses when you have been in an auto accident. Uninsured coverage applies when the auto accident has been caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance, a driver whose insurance denies your claim, or a hit-and-run driver. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when the driver’s insurance doesn’t cover to pay for medical bills, car damages, and expenses.

In Florida, the state law doesn’t require you to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage; however, having it in your insurance has its benefits. The minimum coverage is 10/20; this means that you should have liability limits of $10,000 for injuries in a person and $20,000 for injuries in an accident.

If you are hit by an uninsured driver and have UM/UIM coverage, your PIP benefits will take effect first, followed by your uninsured motorist policy, presuming you have acquired enough of this insurance to meet the expenses of the accident. If you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you may be required to pay out of pocket for the costs of an accident caused by an uninsured motorist that is not covered by your PIP. As a result, as personal injury attorneys, we advise all drivers to purchase UM/UIM coverage in the highest amount permitted to protect themselves against a potential eventuality.

If you or someone you have recently been in a car accident and want to file a claim against an insurance company it is required to call the police at the scene. If the police arrived at the scene and no ticket was issued, you may wonder if maybe no one was at fault or if for sure the other person was at fault you won’t be able to recover any damage. We understand your concerns and we will explain everything to you.

Florida is a state in which every day there is a car accident, this means that the law enforcement officers are always very busy and might occasionally forget to issue a ticket, they might find that no traffic laws were violated, or they couldn’t determine fault. Sometimes if neither of the parties involved in the car crash called the police for different reasons it is possible that a ticket can be issued days after the accident, since a person may file a police report within 10 days of the accident.

However, with this said, it shouldn’t be assumed that you cannot for the most part seek compensation, contrary to popular belief. Florida specifically is a no-fault insurance state, which mostly means you can always generally seek compensation for damages or injuries no matter who for the most part subtly is at fault.

Injuries at work happen very often and many people are not informed what to do if this happens, which is very understandable. It is important to know what to do and what NOT to do in case you suffer any injuries at work. Opening a workers’ compensation may be difficult and tedious that’s why it is important to know what can greatly decrease your chances of a successful claim. If you would like to know more about what a workers’ compensation claim is, visit our website here.

There are different ways in which you can easily make a mistake and cause your workers’ compensation claim to be denied or receive fewer benefits:

  1. Failure to meet the reporting deadline: Florida law states that an injured employee must report his or her injuries within 30 days of the accident, it is best to report your injuries immediately. Some exceptions do exist, but by not reporting your injury on time you will run the risk of your claim being denied.

A deposition is a meeting between the injured victim, his or her attorney, the insurance adjuster, and the insurance attorney based on a question-and-answer session. The deposition is made under oath and admissible in a legal proceeding, therefore a court reporter is also present during the deposition. This is the best way to gather information in a claim is through a deposition according to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act.

The insurance company of your employer may ask the injured victim to do a deposition with the purpose of gathering more information for their case. It is important to always keep in mind that the deposition of the injured victim does not help in any shape or form the injured victim’s claim. With that being said, the most important thing an injured victim should never do is provide more information than what he or she is being asked.

The injured victim will need to prepare for the deposition by:

If you suffered an injury or illness while at work, you can’t sue your employer instead you are entitled to workers’ compensation in which your employer has to provide benefits for you. The benefits are medical benefits and wage benefits. According to the Florida statute section 440.185(1) “An employee who suffers an injury arising out of and in the course of employment shall advise his or her employer of the injury within 30 days after the date of or initial manifestation of the injury”

You are entitled to medical benefits. This means that you are allowed to seek medical treatment at the expense of your employer. It is necessary to do this immediately because you might have something more important than what you think. Your employer will pay for everything you need, recommended by your authorized medical provider. However, you must keep in mind that you don’t decide what you need or where you want to be treated.

A restriction you should be aware of is that in Florida, the doctor who is treating you must be approved by your workers’ compensation insurance carrier. In addition, unlike many other states, Florida’s workers’ compensation regulations do not compel your employer to maintain your position open for you to return to when you are healthy enough.

You might not be familiar with the word “Torts”; this is another word for personal injuries caused by civil wrongs, known as negligence, as slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, dog bites, and more. Torts can be intentional or incidental. Intentional torts are physical injuries such as criminal assault, fraud, or trespassing. Incidental torts are those where one party carelessly harmed another, this type of torts needs to be proven fault.

In Florida, the tort law applies in any civil case in which the party injured is seeking financial compensation for the negligence of someone else. In a personal injury case, the lawsuit doesn’t begin until the party injured has reached maximum medical improvement to avoid unexpected injuries compensation being lost.

Damages for pain and suffering are difficult to quantify due to the subjective nature of the experience and the lack of a common standard of assessment. In assessing how much pain and suffering damages to award a plaintiff, courts frequently direct juries to use their best judgment, and counsel and juries employ a variety of considerations to assign value to various sorts of damages.

Florida statute section 440.015 states that “It is the intent of the Legislature that the Workers’ Compensation Law be interpreted so as to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to an injured worker and to facilitate the worker’s return to gainful reemployment at a reasonable cost to the employer”.This section of the law goes on to states specifically “an efficient and self-executing system must be created which is not an economic or administrative burden.”

So a few questions automatically arise; what does this mean and why do injured workers and insurance companies hire attorneys?

The answer to these questions cannot be answered in just one blog, however I will attempt to address these queries in this and the next few blogs to follow. Self executing means, as indicated in the statute, that the Florida Workers Compensation Law was enacted to “ensure the prompt delivery of benefits to the injured worker” .

The Supreme Court of Florida has issued its decision in a case (Marvin Castellanos v. Next Door Company) that will make a huge impact on the rights of injured workers in this State.

Specifically with regard to the workers compensation claimant’s due process rights under the constitution. The Court, in a five to two decision, opined that the law that was amended in 2009 is a violation of both the Florida and U.S Constitution because it blocks any challenges to the reasonableness of attorney’s fees awarded to the worker’s lawyer.

The Court also focused on the goal and intent of the workers compensation system in this State. That is to quickly provide benefits to get those that have been injured back on the job at a reasonable cost to employers. This, however, is not always the outcome. The Court recognized that in many situations the injured workers undergoes significant delays and resistance by the employer in obtaining the benefits.

Workers compensation lawyers and legal practitioners are sitting on the edge of their seats awaiting the ruling of the Supreme Court in the high profile case of Castellanos v. Next Door Company.

To the average Miami resident this case may seem unimportant. But it has significant impact on the rights of injured workers throughout the State of Florida.

This case involves a gentleman by the name of Marvin Castellanos who was injured during the course of his employment in 2009. As the claim progressed the employer/carrier denied Mr. Castellanos’ claim for additional medical treatment which included three physical therapy visits for two weeks.

He then hired an attorney who litigated and prevailed on this issue, assisting his client in obtaining these medical benefits in at a cost of $822.70.Florida’s statutory attorney fee schedule afforded Castellanos’ attorney a fee of $164.54 for 107 hours of work. The equivalent of approximately $1.53 per hour. This is well below Florida’s minimum hourly wage which is $7.93 per hour.

The attorney representing Castellanos has argued to the Supreme Court that the current statutory attorney fee schedule is unconstitutional . This argument is based on the inability of an injured workers to gain access to courts due to prohibitively low attorney fees and difficulty obtaining representation.

The counter arguments seems to suggest that this statute solely impacts the attorneys and not the benefits received by the worker. As pointed out by several of the Justices, however, the reality is that restriction on fees for the claimant , directly impacts the worker. The workers compensation laws are complex and not similar to small claims, as the defense attorney attempted to argue.

In addition, the employer and its insurance carrier have no statutory restriction what so ever on the amount of fees they may pay their counsel for representation in defense of the same claims.

So what does this mean?

Like so many things in life,we will have to wait to see Continue reading

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