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Articles Tagged with Florida workers’ compensation law

A very common occurrence that we assist people with in our practice is what to do when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident while working. Specifically, situations where the accident didn’t happen while going to and coming from work or at lunchtime, but it actually occurred while on the clock and while performing work duties. In these situations, the injured party has a choice between potential sources of recovery. If their employer has Workers’ Compensation insurance then they will likely be required to at least have an initial consultation with a Workers’ Compensation doctor to assess the extent of the injuries. In addition, most employers in the State of Florida require an initial drug test urine screen in order to establish the claimcar accident attorney

A common misconception that occurs in these situations is that the injured party is under the impression that they are required and only have the option to treat under their Workers’ Compensation insurance. However, this is not the case if the injured party is not at fault in the crash and the at-fault party has Bodily Injury insurance coverage. In these situations, in addition to the potential workers’ compensation benefits available, the injured party can also make a claim against the at-fault party’s Bodily Injury insurance. This would provide the injured party two potential sources of recovery for their damages.

In addition the above sources of recovery, an injured party may have yet another avenue to recover for their losses. If the injured party, or the vehicle that they were in when the crash occurred, had Uninsured or Under-insured motorist coverage in their policy this may provide an additional remedy. This coverage would apply if the at-fault party did not have Bodily coverage on their car insurance or if their coverage was not enough to fully compensate the injured party for the full extent of their damages from the crash.

Many employees lost their jobs due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic and economic fallout. Many others became “remote” employees overnight. However, there is a large subset of individuals who are still continuing to work at physical locations. Initially, this was limited to “essential” workers, however, at present a large percentage of the labor pool is working at a IMG_6339-493-300x200

physical job site on a daily basis. This creates a lot of concerns for employers in the State of Florida, but also, places enormous pressure on the entire work force. Concerns over health and economics and attempting to balance these two essential tenets, can be a high-stress, anxiety-provoking matter.

Florida issued emergency legislation on federal, state and local levels to increase paid and unpaid sick leave and unemployment insurance benefits for COVID-19-related absences. The true gray area that exists is with regards to employees who contract COVID-19 while working – especially now that the work “place” is a fluid term.

As most Floridians are aware as of the date of this blog, the Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida has issued a “Stay at Home” Order for all of Florida as a result of the global pandemic, COVID-19 (Coronavirus). However, while many individuals have lost their jobs and unemployment is at a historic high, there are still any people who are members of the work force because their jobs are considered “essential.”flu-virus-structure_G1UjIOLd-300x212

Essential employees per the Governor’s executive Order 20-89 are defined, generally as: Healthcare providers, grocery, food banks, and other established engaged in sale of food, food cultivators, businesses that provide food/shelter for homeless, media, gas stations and auto repair, banks, hardware stores, contractors, repair workers, mail and shipping companies, schools (only for online learning), laundry and dry cleaners, restaurants and food preparation, suppliers of essential business needs, airlines and transportation, home-based care for seniors and children, professional services, landscape and pool care, child care centers, telecommunications, architectural services, factories, waste management, and generally businesses that interact with customers through electronic or telephonic means.

Currently, Workers’ Compensation law in the State of Florida, does not extend Workers’ Compensation coverage to all essential workers defined above, however, the State is beginning to take steps in the right direction to extend coverage to some workers.

Heat-related work hazards are severe in the South. Florida workers’ compensation law does allow for coverage of job site illnesses such as heat stroke – but only when it results in a week or more of lost time at work. As The Miami Herald reported recently, Florida has one of the highest heat-related hospitalizations in the country, with agricultural and construction workers at highest risk. Even that is a low estimate, given that many conditions, such as heart attacks, asthma and even mental illness could be aggravated as a result of high heat. The key is proving those conditions were caused or substantially impacted by conditions of overheating at work – which is why having a Miami workers’ compensation attorney is so essential in these cases.Florida workers' compensation law

The problem is only going to get worse, according to a number of worker advocacy groups, thanks to rapidly rising temperatures due to climate change. A health project coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida stated many workers in the field have reported a noted rise in the temperatures as they work day in day out in the blazing Florida sun. A recent report by the United Nations revealed average U.S. temperatures have risen more than 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last three decades. Unchecked, it will rise another 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, which the U.N. said could have a catastrophic impact for humans in general. Continue reading ›

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