Workers’ Comp And The Ability To Sue An Employer

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Normally, employers in Florida are protected from personal injury litigation if they have valid workers’ compensation coverage. This is because the worker’s comp system is set up so that injured workers give up their right to sue in exchange for receiving benefit payments. It’s referred to as a no-fault system because it doesn’t matter who is at fault. However, there are instances when there may be some exceptions.

For example, an employee may be able to go beyond filing a workers’ compensation claim and initiate a lawsuit for a wrongful civil action if it’s believed that an employer intentionally caused them harm. “Tort injuries” include both physical injuries and emotional distress. Actions that might warrant pursuing a civil claim include physical assault or threats of assault, confining an employee against their will without legal authority, intentionally lying to an employee in a way that contributed to a sustained injury, or harm caused by someone at work spreading false allegations.

It’s also possible for an employee to pursue legal action against a third party who may have been responsible for injuries sustained while on the job. Situations like this might include legal action taken against the manufacturer of defective equipment that resulted in a worker’s injuries. However, part of any awarded damages may have to be given to the employer to repay workers’ compensation benefits already received. The employer and their insurer may also opt to become part of the lawsuit against a responsible third party.

Since it’s not always easy to determine if a workers’ compensation claim is appropriate or if there is just cause to pursue civil actions against an employer or third party, it might be helpful for an injured employee to consult with an attorney. A lawyer may get involved with denial or termination of benefits cases if all administrative processes have been exhausted. Appeals are generally made to either a special workers’ compensation board or a special type of court. An attorney may be able to guide an injured worker through the claims process, especially if there are certain documentation requirements.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

When Is Workers’ Compensation Coverage Necessary?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When workers suffer injuries on the job, they may need to seek medical care. There is no reason for them to be responsible for the cost of this care, but some employers might not have the cash to be able to pay for it either. This is where workers’ compensation coverage comes into the picture.

Workers’ compensation coverage is a program that covers medical bills related to the on-the-job injury and can provide other benefits that help injured employees. Understanding some of the basic information about workers’ compensation can help some individuals who need to count on the benefits.

Which employers must have coverage?

The type of business has a part in when they are required to have coverage. The number of employees also matters.

Agriculture businesses that have at least six regular employees must have coverage. If they have at least 12 seasonal workers who work more than 30 days in a season but not more 45 days per year, they also need coverage.

Construction workers who have at least one employee, which includes an owner who is non-exempt, needs coverage. If the company employs subcontractors, the subcontractor is responsible for the coverage but the company must verify that the coverage exists.

Other companies must have coverage if they have at least four employees. A nonexempt owner is considered an employee when determining whether a policy is needed.

Who pays for the coverage?

Employers must pay for workers’ compensation policies. They can’t pass the cost along to employees since this is considered a regular operating cost. Employees can’t be expected to pay any of the costs related to the work-related injury medical bills, so employers bear the burden if there isn’t a suitable policy in place.

Are any conditions excluded?

Florida law doesn’t allow for workers’ compensation payments to be made because of nervous or mental conditions that are due to excitement, stress or fright. Injuries caused intentionally by a worker and those that occur when a worker is intoxicated aren’t covered. Workers’ compensation won’t pay for pain and suffering damages.

These laws are meant to protect the workers and businesses. There might be instances in which a person is denied benefits they should receive. These individuals can file an appeal of the ruling as long as they follow the proper procedures and file their appeal within the established time limits.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

ZF External Airbags May Keep Occupants Safer In Side Collision

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The ZF Group has come up with some definite data about the benefits of external airbags; namely, that they can reduce the severity of occupant injuries by as much as 40 percent. Florida residents should know that while external airbags, like self-driving cars, are still a long way from becoming reality, ZF has a strategy that could soon yield real results.

ZF has designed external airbags that deploy from the side of a vehicle, adding to the crumple zone and absorbing some of the impact of a side collision. The challenge, of course, is to get a vehicle to determine when a crash will occur and then deploy the airbags a split second before.

One external airbag model is approximately 80 inches long, 21 inches high and 15 inches wide. It weighs about 13 pounds. Despite its size, it can inflate the airbags in 15 milliseconds, which is around the same time it takes for a steering wheel airbag to inflate.

Some vehicles already have crash predictive systems, which can cause the seat belts to tighten or adjust the suspension based on the data it receives through its cameras and sensors. Since external airbags can be more drastic, however, there is a greater concern about seeing them deploy when they are not needed.

Side collisions often result in serious injuries, and without any advanced safety features to mitigate them, victims may be left with permanent conditions requiring lifelong medical care. However, compensation may be garnered through a personal injury claim. Filing a claim is a complicated process, so victims may want legal representation. After a thorough evaluation, a lawyer could proceed to build up a case.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How Is Liability Decided In The Wake Of A Mass Shooting?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When first responders reached the Jacksonville Landing Complex on August 26th, 2018, they had close to a dozen victims with varying degrees of injury. A 24-year-old gunman had opened fire at an online video game tournament, killing two before taking his own life. During his shooting rampage, the gunman injured nine others who required medical treatment.

In the months that have passed since this tragic event, victims fortunate enough to survive have been focused on both their physical and mental recovery. For the loved ones of the victims who died, they have no choice but to carry on without them. This is so small task.

As of now, ten lawsuits have been filed against the owners of the outdoor mall, where the killing spree took place.

Liability in the wake of a mass shooting

Of the ten known lawsuits, one is for wrongful death and nine involve personal injury claims. This raises many questions about who, exactly, is liable after a mass shooting. Every tragedy has unique factors requiring close examination by experienced attorneys, and at this point, it is too early to speculate about liability in the case of the tragedy on August 26th.

Instead, here are five examples where a shooting victim or their loved ones could pursue a case for either wrongful death or personal injury. This list is not exhaustive.

  • A school resource officer fails their duty to protect
  • Law enforcement ignored tips about the gunman
  • School administrators ignored mental health complaints or concerns
  • Building owners breached their duty of providing reasonable care
  • Survivors feel the gun manufacturers are to blame

Victims or their loved ones want nothing more than to turn back the hands of time. With that not being possible, it is reasonable to pursue compensatory or punitive damages. Compensatory damages cover medical expenses, time lost at work, or compensation for the physical or mental pain and suffering in the wake of the event. Punitive damages exist to punish the responsible party.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]