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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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COVID-19 Phase 1 Challenges Construction Site - Workers' Comp

Covid-19 Phase 1: Worried About Going Back to Work?

As many businesses are opening back up during Phase 1, many employees are worried and nervous to return to work. At Benn, Haro & Isaacs PLLC, we are urging employees to be aware of challenges they may face upon returning to the workforce as shelter in place orders end. 

According to a South Florida Business Journal Article, employees will continue to be cautious and expect the workplace environment to change: 

  • Over 50% of employees will rethink shaking hands and will keep their 6 ft distance with business contacts
  • About 70% hope to have fewer in-person meetings with clients 
  • Many will steer away from common office areas in the office 
  • About 50% of employees will decline in-person business social events/meetings 
  • Over 40% of employees hope to keep the mask mandate and change the office layout to continue to practice social distancing 

COVID-19 Phase 1 Social Distancing Workplace - Workers' Compensation

As viral restrictions begin to lift and people head back into the workforce, employees need to be aware of some obstacles they may face. 

According to the new opening guidelines, social distancing, even in the workplace, must be enforced. This means that some tasks, such as those performed on assembly lines or in warehouses, may end up being completed with fewer workers to ensure there is enough room on the floor for everyone to stay safely separated. As a result, employees may end up performing extra tasks without proper compensation. Their chances of getting injured on the job, as they rush from one task to another, will rise as well.

In addition, companies must keep their workspaces clean and ensure that employees wear proper masks and protective equipment on the job. Failure to do this could lead to new cases of the virus. Masks and gloves getting caught in machinery could also lead to a rise in work-related accidents. 

The law firm of Benn, Haro & Isaacs PLLC wants employees to know that, “As we see many people returning to work, we understand many will face challenges, and we’re here for you” states practicing lawyer partner David Benn. Also, BHI lawyer, William Haro expresses, “It’s important employers are accommodating and flexible with workers returning back to work. If an employee feels they are being overworked or facing other challenges, they should contact our experienced legal team.”  

Even office workers may be affected by these new workplace demands, as they must change their daily routines to include things like cleaning, sanitizing, and distancing their workspaces. These efforts could also cause a spike in on-the-job injuries if the cleaning supplies used causes respiratory issues or skin irritations. 

Even with the new viral restrictions in place, employees are still entitled to certain rights in the workplace. Any employee who suffers a workplace injury as a result of these new guidelines or additional workplaces pressures as the result of reduced staff at a workplace should contact Benn, Haro & Isaacs PLLC in order to protect themselves under workers’ compensation laws. 

For more information about workers’ compensation claims that relate to the new virus restrictions, contact Benn, Haro & Isaacs PLLC

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Work Related Car Accident - Workers' Compensation

Involved in a Car Accident During Work – Can I Sue My Company?

If you are involved in an on-the-job auto accident, does any claim you make fall under workers’ compensation, or is it labeled vicarious liability? What exactly does work-related mean in reference to a car accident? Can you sue your company in the event you are injured in a vehicle accident while at work? Lots of questions arise when a car accident occurs, especially if you were performing a task on behalf of your employer when the incident occurred.

Many employees run errands for their employers on any given day. And, while as an employee, you are using your own car and have your own insurance, if you are in an accident, even if you are at fault, some liability may fall to your employer. Let’s explore the facts.

Errands for Work in Your Personal Vehicle 

If your employer reimburses you for mileage, you are obviously acting within the scope of your employment, but what if you were simply running an errand, like dropping the company mail at the post office? Business errands, just like other acts you perform on behalf of your employer, are nearly always considered acting within the scope of employment. Why? Because acting in the scope of employment means your employer benefits from your activity, even if it is just dropping off the mail. You are still on the job even if you are using your personal vehicle.

Now, on the other hand, if you stop at the post office, and then head elsewhere, you are no longer on the job, which means your employer won’t be liable should you have an accident. Similarly, if you are in an accident traveling to or from work, your employer typically isn’t liable. The exception comes if, as a part of your employment, you make sales calls, inspect onsite projects, pick up orders, or perform other business functions, and are in an accident, your employer may be liable.

Vicarious Liability 

Vicarious liability is applicable when one entity is liable for damages caused by the negligence of another. In this case, the liability is on the employee when the employee is acting in the scope of his or her employment, i.e., while working or traveling for work. The principle includes responsibility for vehicle accidents resulting from employee negligence while using personal vehicles for business activities.

Vicarious liability allows victims to sue employers for injuries and damages caused by their employees while working. For example, if you drive to the post office for your employee and cause an accident, the victim can sue your employer which is generally more lucrative than suing you. It can also protect you, because you were acting on behalf of your employer, vicarious liability means your company is liable even if the incident happened outside of the normal work environment. While it sounds simple, determining if you were truly “on the job” is the key which is often answered by determining if your employer benefitted from your activities.

If you are unsure if your accident was “on the job,” please contact our attorneys for a complimentary case evaluation.

Does Your Car Insurance Have a Role?  

You may be wondering if your car insurance plays a role in an accident that occurs while you are working. The answer is yes, in most cases. Your car insurance will likely cover injuries and damages, but in some cases, where there are multiple victims or expensive vehicles involved, your coverage is not enough.

If this occurs, the victims judgments would fall to your employer and his or her vicarious liability. If your employer is regularly calling on employees to use their personal vehicles for work-related activities, they might consider adding those employees to the company car insurance coverage to help in this scenario. Even so, your personal coverage would still be primary, and then the employer’s coverage would kick in if your coverage falls short.

To get the compensation you deserve, you should contact an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights. Insurance companies won’t fight to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

What if You are Injured?

What happens if you are injured in an accident while driving your personal vehicle for work-related activities? In most instances, your vehicle insurance would pay for your injuries up to amount of coverage you have in place, then workers’ compensation would pay for further injuries or lost wages up to the allowed maximum. For a worker’s compensation claim, there is no need to prove “fault,” as you can, in most cases,  collect workers’ compensation benefits even if you are at fault. Of course, you must have been driving as a result of a work-related activity and you must not have been driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

If you were not at fault in the vehicle accident which occurred while you performed work-related activities, you should file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer as well as a personal injury against the driver who was at fault in the accident.

If you need legal advice as a result of a car accident during work, call on the expert legal team at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC. They have offices throughout Florida and offer FREE consultations for you. The team at Benn, Haro, and Isaacs, PLLC is ready to help you, with personalized representation, get the compensation you deserve.

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