Top Dangerous Jobs in FL - Workers' Comp

The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in Florida

While injuries can occur on any job, there are jobs that are inherently more dangerous and your chances for injury are much higher as well. Compared to other parts of the country, Florida has some unique job opportunities which are among the top 10 most dangerous jobs. 

For the year 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 5.250 fatalities on the job which is the equivalent of 3.5 percent per 100,000 employees. Among those, the most dangerous job category includes farming, fishing, and forestry, in which 262 people were fatally injured in 2018, at a percentage rate of 22.8 deaths per 100,000 workers in the industry. 

Let’s begin with the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States and then explore how Florida’s most dangerous jobs stack up. 

Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Landscaping Injuries - Workers' Comp FL

  1. Loggers – Among those in the logging industry, 97 fatal injuries and 1,040 non-fatal injuries occur per 100,000 full-time workers. In this industry, workers harvest trees which are then crafted into construction and consumer products. The risks they face comes from falling objects during the process or accidents with equipment.
  2. Fishing – In fishing and its related industries, 30 fatal injuries occurred in 2018. For professional fishers, the weather, boat accidents, and falls from vessels are often the cause of accidents, both fatal and non-fatal.
  3. Pilots and Flight Engineers – In this industry for 2018, fatal injuries totaled 70 with non-fatal injuries at 490. Transportation incidents, including airplane crashes, are often the cause, with most accidents among private aircraft. 
  4. Roofing – Among roofers, there were 96 deaths reported in 2018 with 2,060 non-fatal injuries. Falls, slips, and trips while installing or repairing roofs. Because their work takes place on top of buildings or homes, any slip, trip, or fall becomes even more hazardous. 
  5. Refuse/Recyclable Collectors –  In this industry, transportation accidents are the chief cause of what accounted for 37 fatalities and 1,490 on the job injuries in 2018. Because these individuals work from a truck, in all kinds of weather conditions, the chances of injury are higher. 
  6. Truck Drivers – In the trucking industry as well as other driving occupations, in 2018 fatalities numbered 966 with more than 78,520 non-fatal injuries occurred often as a result of transportation accidents. They are among those at the highest risk for these transportation-related types of on the job injuries. 
  7. Farmers and Ranchers – In 2018, the farming industry recorded 257 fatal injuries with 280 other on the job injuries. Given the nature of their work, outdoors, often in challenging weather conditions or traveling from farm to farm, transportation and equipment-related injuries are common causes. 
  8. Steel and Iron Workers – In this industry, for 2018, 15 fatal accidents and 800 non-fatal were reported – many from slip, trip, and fall incidents. In most cases, the nature of the work includes the installation of structural steel or iron elements in buildings often from great heights. 
  9. Construction – In construction-related fields, fatal injuries numbered 144 in 2018. The number of non-fatal injuries on the job was 5,390. Transportation incidents are most common followed by a high number of slip, trip, and fall incidents. 
  10. Landscaping and Lawn Services – In 2018, the industry totals were 142 fatal injuries with 1,990 non-fatal injuries. The most common causes are transportation accidents going from project to project and equipment-related injuries.

The Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in South Florida

Roofing Injuries - Workers' Comp in FL

For the same period, the most dangerous jobs in Florida include: 

  1. Construction 
  2. Transportation – Truck and Delivery Drivers
  3. Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance
  4. Installation and Repair
  5. Protective Services (Police, Fire, EMT)
  6. Sales
  7. Farming, Fishing, and Forestry
  8. Production
  9. Roofers
  10. Electricians

Most fatalities on the job are caused by transportation incidents, followed by slip, trip, and fall incidents. If you have lost a loved one as the result of an on-the-job fatality or have been injured in an on-the-job incident, you need to speak with a professional and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

An experienced lawyer will protect your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. The trusted Work Injury lawyers have offices throughout Florida and are ready to assist you. 

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Workplace injury and accident victims need a great workers' compensation lawyer

Should I Speak to a Lawyer First About Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

When you fall victim to an accident or injury on the job, before pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, the first course of action you should take is to get emergency medical treatment if necessary. After addressing your immediate health, you should then formally report the injury to your employer:

  • Your employer should have you fill out an accident/injury report (in writing, not verbally) with your company’s human resources department.
  • Report your injury to the proper work authority and request they complete the notice of injury as quickly as possible, ensuring your workers’ compensation claim transitions to your employer’s insurance carrier in a timely manner.
  • Once reported, seek medical treatment as needed for your injury. Make sure all treatment is appropriately documented in the event your employer or their insurance carrier challenges your workers’ compensation claim. 

For many who are injured on the job, the next question which comes to mind is whether or not you should speak to a lawyer regarding your workers’ compensation injury and benefits. The short answer is yes, in most cases. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will give you expert legal advice and help you maximize the benefits you deserve following an injury on the job. 

Let’s explore the benefits of discussing your workers’ compensation claim with a trustworthy workers’ compensation attorney:

Workers’ Compensation – When You Need an Attorney

Report your workers' compensation claim to your employer right away

Even for situations that appear uncomplicated, you should know that most workers’ compensation attorneys offer free consultations to potential clients. In doing so, the attorney can explain the process, possible issues, and advise you honestly regarding how to handle the claim either on your own or with their help. 

If your workers’ compensation claim presents any level of complexity, you should hire a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer. For example, if your employer and workers’ compensation insurance carrier reject your claim, you will want to have an attorney help with the appeal. This denial of benefits happens often, and your attorney can help you get the settlement you deserve. Other times, the settlement offered by employer and insurance company doesn’t cover your lost wages and medical bills. In this situation, your workers’ compensation lawyer will see you get a fair deal and the best settlement possible. 

In some cases, medical issues resulting from your injuries can prevent you from returning to your former position, limit your ability to work, or even permanently prevent you from working again. With partial or total permanent disability, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment or weekly payments. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney is crucial towards helping you receive benefits you need and deserve following permanent injury or illness. Additionally, they can also help with minimizing or eliminating any offset that might occur in the future should you apply for Social Security disability payments.

Another instance in which you need a proficient workers’ compensation lawyer is in the event your employer retaliates against you as a result of your workers’ compensation claim. Examples include firing or demotion, cut hours or reduced pay,  as well as other forms of discrimination for which you need an attorney to protect your rights.

Finally, if you were injured due to employer misconduct or a third party’s actions—such as a negligent driver crashing into you while you were on duty—you may need to sue outside of your workers’ compensation claim, meaning you will need a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer to guide you.

Workers’ Compensation – The Benefits of Hiring an Experience Lawyer

Hire an experienced attorney to get the most out of your settlement

When you have suffered an on-the-job injury, hiring an experienced attorney—such as those at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC—will ensure your rights are protected and you get the settlement you deserve. A knowledgeable attorney will gather the evidence to support your case, negotiate with the workers’ compensation insurance carrier on your behalf, and prepare your settlement agreement with your best interests in mind. In addition, should your claim require a hearing or trial for a fair settlement, your attorney will prepare your case and represent you. 

Whether your claim remains minor or becomes more complex, you should call on the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC for assistance. With offices covering all of South Florida, they widely offer the legal expertise and representation necessary to help you get the settlement you deserve.

Call today to schedule your free consultation at 954-324-COMP.

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Slip and Fall/Trips Workplace Accidents in Florida - Worker Comp Lawyers

Workers’ Comp 101: Workplace Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of workplace injuries, accounting for one in every for work-related injuries. Though they are often labeled minor injuries, slip and fall accidents often lead to missed time from work.

When these types of injuries are more serious, workers may even miss weeks or months of work. In most instances, these workers are eligible for workers’ compensation, which covers workplace accidents and provides benefits to those injured (assuming the employee was not injured while under the influence or intentionally cause the injury).

Slip and Fall Injury Statistics and Causes

Construction Workplace Injuries - Florida Workers' Comp Lawyers

From the U.S. Department of Labor to OSHA (U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, government agencies agree that slip and fall accidents are common work-related accidents resulting in up to 25 percent of those injuries causing missed work for injured employees.

Slip and fall accidents can result in bruises, contusions, lacerations, abrasions, sprains, strains, and even fractures. While these injuries can happen in any occupation, they are most common among truck drivers, landscapers and tree trimmers, roofers, and carpenters. Slip and fall accidents in the workplace are commonly caused by:

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Spills on smooth flooring (water, dusts, grease, powders, blood, wastes, oil, or other liquids)
  • Freshly waxed or highly polished floors
  • Deficient or missing warning signs
  • Transitions between different types of flooring
  • Damaged (loose floorboards or tiles) or sloped flooring 
  • Cords, hoses, cables, or wiring improperly placed across walkways or hallways
  • Loose, irregular walking surfaces (gravel, sand, etc.)
  • Uneven, non-uniform, or damaged stairs or steps
  • Loose, unanchored area rugs or welcome mats
  • Ramps without slip resistant protection
  • Clutter/Obstacles in workspaces or walkways.

The Effects of Workplace Slip and Fall Injuries 

Slip and fall injuries in the workplace can result in short or long-term effects, including financial as well as other losses. For many, slip and fall accidents can result in lost wages, acute pain, out-of-pocket expenses, chronic pain, disability, depression, and reduced quality of life.

If you have been injured due to a slip, trip, or fall accident, it is important to know your rights. Most slip and fall accidents are considered preventable, which means you may have multiple sources of compensation available to you. To get the compensation you deserve, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.  

Workers’ Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries in the Workplace

Workers’ compensation was established as a no-fault system, meaning, if eligible, employees may be awarded benefits regardless of whether the accident was preventable.

In most states around the country, workers’ compensation benefits include medical expenses related to the injury as well as a portion of lost wages during your recovery and treatment. Even so, it is important to know that filing a claim for your slip and fall injury must be done quickly and follow your state’s guidelines to protect your eligibility.  

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

  1. Get the medical attention you need immediately following your injury. Some injuries have obvious consequences, while others, such as head injuries or soft tissue injuries may not be apparent for a few hours or even days.
  2. Next, you should notify your employer of the accident, promptly. You’ll want to explain the details of the fall, including body parts that were impacted as well as any specifics which could relate to potential injuries. Your potential workers’ compensation benefits may depend on your proper and prompt reporting of the accident.
  3. Once you have notified your employer, the next step is filing your workers’ compensation claim. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you with the forms and the entire legal process. Workers’ compensation insurance companies often use every opportunity to deny your claim, so being certain you have followed the state guidelines for reporting your injury and filing your claim is key to the compensation you deserve. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If your slip and fall accident resulted in a trip to the emergency department at the hospital or local urgent care, workers’ compensation should cover the costs. Also covered by workers’ compensation are the costs for any medical care and treatment afterward by doctors who are pre-approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company. You can request a second opinion, if needed, from another company approved physician. In some instances, you can see your personal doctor, but you will want to verify coverage by workers’ compensation before you do. 

A workers’ compensation lawyer will walk you through the legal process and help you get the right compensation you deserve – unlike an insurance company.

If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Unfairly Denied

Even in minor slip and fall claims, you should call on an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for help. Don’t attempt to tackle the issues on your own, instead reach out to the expert legal team at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC.

With offices all over South Florida, they are ready to help you with a free consultation, and personalized representation to help you get the compensation you deserve to protect yourself and your family, now and for the future. Contact us today at 954-716-8287.

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LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination - Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation: LGBTQ Rights in the Workplace Post US Supreme Court’s June 15th Ruling

The United States Supreme Court delivered one of the most groundbreaking rulings of the decade on June 15th, 2020 – banning LGBTQ employment discrimination. 

In the midst of everything sweeping the nation, from COVID-19 to racial equality protests, this ruling was a surprising turn of events. The 1964 law that bans discrimination in employment based on race, religion, national origin, or sex will now concretely include both homosexual and transgender people. 

Supreme Court Bans LGBTQ Employment Discrimination 

Supreme Court Bans LGBTQ Employment Discrimination

Of course, with all significant change comes an adjustment period. The members of the LGBTQ community know all too well about inappropriate workplace situations as a result of their sexuality. This change and adjustment period are long overdue.

Regardless, in the interim between the court ruling and employers fully embracing some serious policy changes, some LGBTQ members of the community may find themselves in a tough spot as other employees struggle (or even fight) to embrace the coming change.

It’s important to note that members of the LGBT community have shouldered a “different normal” for far too long. Their struggles for equality in the workplace have led to many moments of awkwardness and discomfort. Here are just a few examples:

  • After years of being praised for your sales prowess and dedication, did your position suddenly become “redundant” when they discovered you were transgender? 
  • Do you seem to get more reprimand letters than your heterosexual colleagues over trivial matters? 
  • Does the “office Karen” routinely make completely inappropriate comments about your “choice” to be transgender? 
  • Worse yet, were you fired after an employer found out that you were transgender? 

The list of injustices against the LGBTQ community is long, and it’s more than just upsetting. This is the collective face of discrimination in the workplace. The LGBTQ community has rights, and know more than ever, change is upon us. 

If you find yourself being discriminated against at work due to your sexual orientation, contact the experienced workers’ compensation lawyers at Benn, Haro, & Isaacs, PLLC.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim – LGBTQ Employment Discrimination

Unfortunately, unless the LGBTQ community actively takes a stand on these injustices, this newly awarded right in the workplace has the potential to become meritless. However, here at Benn, Haro, & Isaacs, PLLC we are also here to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve! 

Enter Benn, Haro, & Isaacs, PLLC, a dedicated team of Florida lawyers and legal staff who proudly extend the highest quality of legal service for worker’s compensation claims to every client regardless of race, gender, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.

If you have been discriminated against or injured on the job, the legal team at Benn, Haro, & Isaacs can help in your journey toward equality. In many ways, it’s a shared journey. Taking a stand on discrimination helps pave the way for those behind us. Allow Benn, Haro, & Isaacs to help guide the compass in the ongoing fight for fairness in the workplace. 

Examples of injustices in the workplace based on sexual orientation are as follows: 

  • Not getting promoted to a more senior position because the other staff assumes you will not gain respect or authority due to your sexuality
  • Not being hired because you are transgender. Example: the employer thinks you will not fit into the workplace culture 
  • Offering transgender people different rates of pay or benefits for the same job 
  • Not considering you for a particular role because you identify as transgender 
  • Inappropriate comments being made about your appearance or otherwise regarding your sexual orientation

This list is by no means all-inclusive. If you believe you have a case, please seek legal counsel immediately. We offer free consultation services to determine the merit of your case and seek justice on your behalf. 

Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC is proud to represent LGBTQ individuals and groups throughout Florida. Their legal services for workers’ compensation claims are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning the client pays nothing unless they secure a settlement or jury award on your behalf. Find more information at https://accidentlawyerfl.com/

Workplace fairness is for ALL.  Benn, Haro & Isaacs, PLLC is understanding and supportive of your workplace needs and will fight to make them heard. Equality is not just a “nice to have;” it’s essential. Want us to look at your case? Contact us today

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Workers' Compensation Benefits COVID-19

Workers’ Compensation COVID-19 – Can I Get Benefits?

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the world in many ways. With each day, as humanity learns more about the virus, people have faced stay-at-home orders, shelter-in-place guidelines, business closures, and more. In addition, everyone has learned lots of new terminology and technology, from zoom meetings to essential workers to “flatten the curve,” much has changed, in particular how Americans and those around the world do business. 

One area affected is workers’ compensation, not only in the way claims are being processed but also in the questions of new, acceptable claims. For those exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace, questions abound. Are you eligible for workers’ compensation as a result of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis? The short answer is yes, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for lost wages and medical bills related to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, if you are not a healthcare provider or first responder who treated an individual who was infected, getting workers’ compensation will likely present a challenge. Essentially, whether you qualify will be determined by the circumstances of your case, as well as the nature of your work and the rules in your state (including temporary changes related to the pandemic). 

“A Recordable Injury”

Workers’ compensation, as a rule, excludes colds and flu, as “ordinary diseases of life.” On the other hand, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has declared COVID-19 a “recordable injury” meaning it must be reported by employers when employees are infected. As such, OSHA has also implemented additional safety standards for businesses whose employees face a higher risk of becoming infected with the Coronavirus. In most cases, workers’ compensation, in turn, covers occupational diseases employees may contract as a result of their work, which is where COVID-19 may land, especially for healthcare workers, first responders, and possibly others. 

Occupational diseases eligibility varies from state to state though in most cases it is required that individuals can show the nature of their job caused the infection, posed a higher risk of exposure than members of the general population and contracted the illness as a result of their job. Meeting those requirements will be more difficult given the extent of the Coronavirus pandemic spread. Because exposure is widespread, it will be challenging for individuals to prove exposure occurred as a result of their employment. Medical evidence will likely be required to demonstrate workplace exposure in states which allow COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims. 

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and you believe your Coronavirus infection is a result of your job, here are the steps you should take to file a workers’ compensation claim.

  1. Give notice to your employer regarding the circumstances you feel led to your COVID-19 infection. This must be done within 30 days of your initial symptoms or your exposure. An extension may be allowed given the coronavirus infection, testing, and diagnosis timelines.
  2. If your employer or its workers’ compensation administrator fail to accept your claim, you may submit a written petition of benefits to the Office of Judges of Compensation Claims. This must be submitted within two years of the incident.  
  3. Hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to help you through the legal process and get you the compensation you deserve. For more information, visit our COVID-19 page.

For employees who do not have the presumption of compensability protection and are not considered frontline state employees, you will need a physician’s report submitted, detailing the facts of your exposure and diagnosis, as well as a statement linking the diagnosis and your work.  

Who are Frontline State Employees? 

In Florida, frontline state employees are those whose job requires them to interact with potentially infected individuals. This list includes:

  • Child safety investigators
  • Healthcare workers
  • EMTs
  • Firefighters
  • Paramedics
  • Law enforcement
  • Correctional officers
  • Florida National Guardsman

The Florida Division of Risk Management (provider of workers’ compensation coverage to state employees) announced in March a directive to process Coronavirus workers’ compensation claims for frontline state employees. Also, the Florida League of cities (administrator of Florida Municipal Insurance Trust and provider of workers’ compensation coverage for localities) added coverage for community first responders with COVID-19 claims. In both instances, frontline state workers who make COVID-19 claims are compensable as occupational disease claims unless the state can show otherwise.

What about Private Sector Employees?  

The frontline state employees’ directive has not been extended to cover private-sector employees in essential positions like office workers, grocery store employees, warehouse workers, delivery drivers, and more. Even so, those private-sector employees who test positive for COVID-19 can file a workers’ compensation claim. Once filed, these employees will need to prove they contracted the infection because their job put them at a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. These claims will require a physician’s statement demonstrating sufficient workplace exposure and causation. 

For assistance and legal representation, contact our experienced team of workers’ compensation lawyers.

Contact an Expert Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have contracted COVID-19, and are unsure of how to proceed with a workers’ compensation claim, call on the expert legal team at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC

With offices throughout Florida, the team at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC is ready to help you with a free consultation and personalized representation to get the compensation you deserve. 

 

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