Articles Tagged with construction accident lawyer

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Last year, the Florida Supreme Court took on two major issues pertaining to the state’s workers’ compensation program, in both cases handing a victory to injured workers. However, now business industry lobbyists are pushing for workers’ compensation reforms that will undercut those victories. worker

As Capitol News Service reports, the Florida Chamber of Commerce President was quoted as saying there is a big price tag on the horizon if workers’ compensation law in Florida isn’t “fixed.” He added that based on the Florida Supreme Court’s decisions in favor of workers, “There’s a one and a half billion dollar tax increase on jobs in Florida.” This, he said, is going to cut into the creation of new jobs.

But what this overlooks is the fact that the previous system was inherently unfair to workers – and the attorneys who took up their cases. Specifically, the chamber president is referring to the case of Castellanos v. Next Door Company, which was decided last April. That case involved the constitutionality of the mandatory fee schedule for plaintiff attorneys in workers’ compensation cases, set forth in F.S. 440.34. The court ruled that the mandatory fee schedule creates a presumption that can’t be rebutted as to whether an attorney’s compensation is in fact reasonable, which in turn violates both the state and federal Constitutions as a violation of due process.  Continue reading →

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In most work injury cases, including those stemming from Florida construction accidents, workers can expect to have a single remedy against their employer: Workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation law is a trade-off of sorts. Employers agree to a system of no-fault benefits for workers injured in the course and scope of employment, and employees agree to forfeit their right to sue the company. fireextinguisher

However, while this provision generally also protects co-workers, it typically does not pertain to third-parties, such as product manufacturers, rogue drivers or, in some cases, other contractors on the same job site. The question recently considered in a work injury lawsuit by the Mississippi Supreme Court was whether a worker who obtained workers’ compensation benefits from a company was entitled to also sue that company, on the grounds the company wasn’t his statutory employer.

So why would a company that wasn’t his statutory employer pay benefits in the first place? According to court records, it had to do with an agreement between the defendant property owner and a contractor, which provided maintenance services. The terms of the contract were separate from state law, which did not mandate that the property owner pay workers’ compensation insurance. The fact that the property owner chose to do so as part of the contract did not mean it assumed the position of statutory employer, at least that’s what the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled when it decided plaintiff could proceed with his personal injury lawsuit against defendant, even though defendant/ defendant’s insurer had paid workers’ compensation benefits.  Continue reading →

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Two important types of injury insurance most working Americans should have are: Workers’ compensation and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. The first provides no-fault coverage of medical bills and lost wages in the event one is injured on-the-job. The second provides coverage for the wrongful acts of negligent drivers who don’t have enough insurance to cover the full extent of an injured person’s medical bills and other losses. forklift

In cases where both types of coverage apply, plaintiffs need to know that they are not entitled to double recovery. That is, they can’t collect compensation for medical bills from the workers’ compensation insurer and then also collect and keep it from the UIM carrier. Most insurance policies contain some type of offset provision whereby benefits are reduced by the amount paid to the insured by a legally liable third party. In some situations, insurers might assert something called “subrogation rights,” which means if you collect duplicate benefits from a third party, the insurer can file for a lien to collect those benefits.

It’s important when you have suffered an injury that may allow you to collect from multiple insurance companies that you hire a law firm with extensive experience. Failure to do so may result in missing out on certain benefits or being forced to repay benefits already collected from a third party. Continue reading →

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A worker injured in a construction accident first and foremost should seek workers’ compensation benefits, if applicable. Assuming the worker was an employee acting in the course and scope of employment, the benefits should be delivered quickly and assist with medical bills and lost wages. However, such benefits likely won’t cover everything, and exclusive remedy provisions of workers’ compensation law typically disallow lawsuits against employers, even if they were negligent. That’s why third-party litigation is often a must.

Scaffolding

On construction sites, there are many individuals and entities that may have certain safety responsibilities, and it’s important to ascertain whether any of those may have failed in their legal duties of care.

In the recent case of Schaefer v. Universal Scaffolding & Equipment, LLC, plaintiff came upon a major challenge in pursuing claims against two defendants owing to the fact that the reportedly defective piece of scaffolding that struck him in the head, causing serious injuries, was lost. Plaintiff filed claims for construction negligence, failure to warn and negligent spoliation of evidence.  Continue reading →

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