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Palm Beach County Workers' Comp Law Blog

What elements should be present to prove a wrongful death suit?

Wrongful death suits are often brought in cases in which a loved one dies unexpectedly or in an unusual way. Proving a wrongful death case isn't typically the first thing on a grieving loved one's mind when a loved one is lost so tragically. However, once the initial grieving period has passed, one should really think about how the details of a person's death could affect the remaining loved ones and their future. There are a few elements that should be present when a loved one dies unexpectedly, like in a work accident.

Work accidents aren't the only situation in which a loved one can fall victim to a situation in which a third party or person was negligent. Car accidents, medical malpractice and other accidents in which a loved one passes away can qualify for the elements of a wrongful death suit. In a work accident, if a person was unnecessarily injured and succumbed to their injuries and surviving family members have suffered from that loss, these are elements that could result in a positive outcome in a wrongful death suit.

OSHA cites Florida manufacturer after worker's death

A work-related accident can lead to serious injuries and even death. In a recent tragic example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation of the death of a machine operator at a Pensacola electrical cable manufacturer resulted in 12 citations and proposed fines of $226,431.

The 26-year old worker died after being pulled into a re-spool machine and crushed as he was guiding electrical wire into the machine. OSHA said that this fatality was preventable and found that the manufacturer did not install required guarding on the machine to block the work from coming contact with the machine's moving parts. The 12 safety citations included one repeat, seven serious and three less than serious violations. Failure to maintain machinery was a factor in many of the charges.

Submit an SSD claim correctly the first time

In the American legal system, if a person doesn't like the outcome of their legal decision, they most often have the means to appeal the decision. This appeals process does apply in most cases in which Florida citizens seek Social Security Disability benefits. However, while an appeal might take more time and effort than one had bargained for. The national average wait time for appealing a SSDI decision is currently 583 days to get in front of an administrative law judge.

Approximately 1.1 million people are currently waiting to hear status of their SSDI claims process. Florida is one of the top 10 states with the biggest backlog, with Florida residents waiting an average of more than 600 days to get in front of the judge. This is why it is so important to submit your claim for SSD benefits correctly the first time. Avoiding this queue of backlogged claims can save time, effort and money.

Recovering lost wages after a work accident injury

Whether a Florida resident drives for a living, performs construction labor or even works a desk job, anyone can be the victim of accident injury while on the job. Of course, some injuries are more likely to affect certain workers in certain industries. Physical and mental injuries can not only threaten a person's health, but they can take from them their ability to earn a living wage.

In legal terms, this is what is known as lost wages. Essentially, lost wages are the wages one would have earned, had they not been injured and rendered unable to perform. It is a real loss that those who have suffered work accident injury can suffer both in the short and long term. It is particularly important for those whose work accident injury was suffered due to negligence on behalf of another.

What are your rights if your job costs you an arm or a leg?

If you have suffered a non-serious workplace injury, you might be able to pursue workers' compensation benefits without legal assistance. However, not all benefits claims are approved, and navigating complicated cases involving serious injuries may prove to be challenging. If you suffered a catastrophic injury that caused a disability that prevented you from returning to your regular job, the support of an experienced attorney should prove to be a valuable asset.

The Florida workers' compensation insurance program offers vocational rehabilitation for employees who suffered injuries such as amputations. However, the insurer does not automatically provide such training, and injured workers must request to be part of a vocational rehabilitation program.

What can workers do if their workplace is unsafe?

Every worker has the right to a safe and healthy work environment. There is no exception to this rule, regardless of the industry in which one works. Naturally, certain jobs are more dangerous than others, but these industries are expected to uphold an even higher standard of safety and care for their employees.

Many West Palm Beach workers may find out that their workplace was dangerous only after it is too late. One could already have been negatively affected when an unsafe working condition or substance by means of exposure. Catastrophic injuries can occur and it can be unnecessary if the incident could, or should, have been prevented. How can a person prevent these types of injuries from affecting themselves and their co-workers?

Florida construction site injury claims life, injures another

Thinking about the hazards that construction workers may face on a daily basis is staggering. This line of work is naturally dangerous, with all of the heavy machinery, heights and other dangerous factors involved. It could be easy for a worker to be involved in a workplace accident, whether or not that accident was on their behalf of not.

A recent story started with Florida construction workers loading supplies into a third-story window on a construction site. The workers were using a crate as a platform, three stories up, when the platform tipped, taking them down with it. The press has described the young man's death, and the other man's injuries, as very preventable. Florida has the second highest mortality rate across the country for workplace accidents.

Workers' compensation and a loved one's sudden workplace death

The day in which a loved one is tragically killed in a work accident often starts out like any other. Oftentimes, nothing about the start of the day seems unordinary. This can really hit home with West Palm Beach families who have lost loved ones when they died in a work accident.

There are a few things that one should understand about workers' compensation, liability and how it can affect your family after a loved one's unexpected work death. Workers' compensation is a mandatory insurance policy that employers are required to be enrolled in. It helps to protect employers and employees when a work accident happens. If a family accepts workers' compensation after a loved one's work injury or work death, it can affect their ability to seek additional compensation.

Seeking Social Security Disability benefits can be worthwhile

The average worker puts in decades of work before they hit the age of retirement. All of those years of work are most often partially contributing paycheck by paycheck to a social security fund. Social Security is broken down into categories, one of which covers workers who have contributed to social security and can no longer seek or hold employment due to injury or illness.

The Social Security Administration or SSA is the only agency that can grand SSD benefits. One seeking SSD benefits must petition them for benefits. There is a specific process associated with achieving these benefits. Even one misstep can result in the denial of benefits, for even the smallest technicality or paperwork flub.

Will your work history work against a disability benefits claim?

As a disabled individual with limited resources, you may have legitimate concerns regarding how you will support your family and take care of yourself. For many individuals with disabling physical or mental conditions, securing Social Security Disability benefits may be an option, but what if you are not eligible? If you do not qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, you may have the option to seek another type of benefit.

Supplemental Security Income is an option for people with significant disabilities who do not qualify for SSDI benefits because of a lack of qualifying employment history. If you believe that you may have a valid claim to SSI benefits, you would be wise to seek the help of a Florida attorney as you navigate the application process.

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