In a case challenging Florida’s workers’ compensation laws brought by a police officer, with the assistance of the Fraternal Order of Police, the First District Court of Appeals in Florida issued a lengthy 26 page opinion that stuck the cap on attorney’s fees injured workers can pay their attorney’s to represent them, that was first passed by the Florida Legislature in 2003, as unconstitutional. The court ruled the restrictions violate the injured worker’s constitutional rights under the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to contract, and one’s right to petition for redress

Martha Miles, a law enforcement office, was employed by the City of Edgewater Police Department when she was injured at work on two separate occasions due to her exposure to chemicals used in drug labs to produce methamphetamines. She had a legally complex exposure case that would take a lawyer of great skill for her to meet her burden of proof of a preponderance of the evidence under Florida law.

But when she attempted to have a Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) approve her and the Fraternal Order of Police’s retainer agreements with the lawyer of her choice the JCC denied her and said that the retainer agreements violated Florida’s workers compensation laws which limit the amount an injured worker can pay their attorney while placing no such restriction on the amount her employer or insurance carrier can pay their lawyer to defend the case against the injured worker/claimant, Ms. Miles. The JCC stated that he was not able to decide if the law is fair and that his job was to enforce the law that was on the books at the time.

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Fit2Play Summer Camp for Miami-Dade County Children

Have you decided what your children will be doing this summer? If you are seeking a fun, safe, fitness and nutrition-minded program for your child and you are a resident of Miami-Dade County, you have Fit2Play! We can all agree that staying indoors and playing video games all summer is not the healthy choice. So, the Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation department has provided this wonderful environment for children to gain physical fitness, learn proper nutrition and establish lifelong friendships. And its Fit2Play.

Fit2Play is a national model dedicated to improving children’s physical fitness and motor skills, while also embracing the arts and nature. Qualified supervisors oversee all activities in a healthy outdoor atmosphere throughout 32 Miami-Dade County parks. In addition to Fit2Play programs, The Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation and Open Spaces Department offers summer programs, such as Cheerleading and Dance, Basketball, Golf, and Learn to Swim, children can also enjoy Arts-and-Crafts, Nature Detectives Camp, and Summer Arts Camp.

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After being injured in an accident due to no fault of their own, such as an automobile accident, slip or trip and fall accident, workplace accident, most people need and want to find a personal injury attorney but don’t know how. Do they call the first one they see on TV, use Google or do they call an attorney referral service?

The best way to find a personal injury lawyer is thru the referral of a prior client who had a positive experience with the attorney as word of mouth can be a great way to help narrow down your options. Talk with friends or coworkers who have been represented by the attorney in their own cases or claims. Although the prior clients’ opinions are certainly valuable, please remember that each case is different and you should make your decision based on your own experience. Additionally, Google is a great tool to use to find a personal injury attorney as it provides a ton of information to you about many personal injury attorneys in your area in a very short amount of time.   It is important to meet with the personal injury attorneys face to face and not simply over the phone.

If you were involved in any type of accident where you sustain injuries, I think it’s very important that you consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options and your right to any financial recovery.

If you have been injured in an accident, immediately seek out medical attention.

car-44127_1280The answer to this question is almost always “yes” and for good reason.  According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) website, about 33,000 people are killed each year in motor vehicle crashes.  And according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for people ages 11 through 27. Additionally, NHTSA found that seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing the risk of death in an automobile crash with 45 to 60 percent effectiveness, and that seat belts have saved nearly 300,000 lives in the United States since 1975.

Recently, former Miss New Jersey and Miss America contestant, Cara McCollum, died of injuries sustained in a one car accident a week earlier. State police report that Ms. McCollum was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. However, the exact cause of her injuries has yet to be determined and it’s unknown if he failure to wear a seat belt was a factor.

Florida has a Primary Seatbelt Law. Primary (or “standard”) seat belt laws allow law enforcement to pull over a driver for not wearing his or her seatbelt. Primary seatbelt laws have been proven very effective in increasing seat belt usage. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have front seat primary seat belt laws.  While 15 states provide that their seat belt laws are “secondarily enforced,” meaning police officers must stop the vehicle for another violation before they can issue a seat belt summons.  New Hampshire is the only state that does not have seat belt laws for people over the age of 17.

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Less than 24 hours after being indicted on federal charges of breaking U.S. antitrust laws by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly rigging bids for oil and gas land deals, Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, who resigned from the company in 2013, died in a single car crash on March 2, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Prior to his death McClendon denied all the charges brought against him. He was 56 years old and is survived by his wife and their three children.

While the cause of his death has yet to be determined, the timing and circumstances of the crash are curious as McClendon was scheduled to turn himself in to authorities at 11am and the crash occurred just after 9am local time on a desolate 2 lane road approximately 8 miles from the offices of American Energy Partners, a company he founded after resigning from Chesapeake Energy.

McClendon was traveling at a high rate of speed in his 2013 Chevy Tahoe on a 2 lane road where the speed limit is 40 miles per hour and was not wearing his seat belt in violation of Oklahoma’s seat belt laws that require any driver and front seat passenger to be restrained by a seat belt while the vehicle is in operation. Additionally, Oklahoma’s seat belt laws are “primary” meaning that a law enforcement officer can pull you over and issue a citation for a violation and does not need to have another reason to make the stop before issuing a citation.

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Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, is one form of automobile insurance coverage that is mandated by the State of Florida.

An automobile insurance policy issued in the State of Florida will protect the name insured, relatives residing in the same household, persons operating the insured motor vehicle, passengers in the vehicle and any other persons struck by the vehicle suffering bodily injury up to a limit of $10,000 in medical benefits and $5,000 in death benefits.

Crane accidents are one of the most deadly construction accidents that occur in the State of Florida each year. Most crane collapses result in serious personal injury and even death of workers as well as anyone who comes into the path of the falling crane, crane boom (see photo) or its cargo.

atlanta-boom-breaks

In the news recently was a crane accident that occurred in New York City.  This crane collapse resulted in the death of David Wichs, a 38 year old man.  Additionally, three others were injured. In response to the crane accident NYC Mayor de Blasio began an immediate investigation in order to review the events surrounding the accident and to find out exactly what caused this fatal accident.  While he stated the investigation is underway, he also cautioned that the investigation will be complex and will therefore takes weeks or months to complete.

In response to the crane accident New York Mayor de Blasio immediately put new restrictions  in place require crawler cranes (cranes with chains for movement, much like a tank, rather than wheels) cease operating  immediately and go into safety mode whenever sustained winds are forecast to be more than 20 miles an hour or gusts are forecast to be more than  30 miles per hour.

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Personal injury and personal injury law entails the representation of injury victims who are injured due to someone else’s negligence. This negligence may include an automobile accident, a slip and fall case, construction accident, or products liability.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact Payer & Associates by going to our website: www.pimiami.com.

Every day many workers in Florida are injured on the job.  Some of these Florida workers are hurt so badly that they are unable to return to work in any capacity, even sedentary work, due to their work related injuries and the resulting permanent physical restrictions. For these injured workers, F.S. 440.15(1), is the law that provides the legal basis for them receiving permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.  F.S. 440.15(1)(b) provides a presumption of permanent disability for the following injuries:

  1. Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or the trunk;
  2. Amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of use of that appendage;
  3. Severe brain or closed-head injury as evidenced by:
  4. Severe sensory or motor disturbances;
  5. Severe communication disturbances;
  6. Severe complex integrated disturbances of cerebral function;
  7. Severe episodic neurological disorders; or
  8. Other severe brain and closed-head injury conditions;
  9. Second-degree or third-degree burns of 25 percent or more of the total body surface or third-degree burns of 5 percent or more to the face and hands; or
  10. Total or industrial blindness.

However, most severely injured workers who are unable to return to work within a 50 mile radius of their home do not fall into one of the above presumptive categories and therefore must prove their entitlement to PTD.  In that case to obtain PTD benefits under the Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law, an injured worker must demonstrate they are not able to engage in at least sedentary employment within a fifty-mile radius of their residence due to their work related physical limitations.

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