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Temporary Worker Job Injury Question

March 31, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida job injury lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question: I had an accident at work where I fell through the ice that had built up from a sewer that does not drain properly. I tore my MCL in my left knee and sprained my lower back. I was a fill-in employee at the location where the accident occurred. I later found out from the regular store manager that the company had been on notice for 2 years that the sewer drain was an issue, and also that the company had the sewer drain looked at for repairs a couple of times but never had it fixed. I was outside because the company had sent out a fax to all managers to check the outside of their stores and storage barns for possible damage from the previous weekends high winds. I have been out of work on workers comp for the past 3 months, and my back doctor wants me to remain off work until I have had an MRI done on my back. Workers comp doctors say that I can return to work without restrictions, and have denied my claim to have an MRI done. Now my job requires me to stand for 12-13 hours a day, no break, no lunch, and only 1 employee on duty all day. I feel that with my back pain there is no way that I can perform my job duties up to the company’s expectations, and if I go back to work now and can’t do my job then I have let workers comp off the hook and I will be stuck with any future doctor bills. So, what are my options?

Answer: The answer to your questions depends on the law in your area for workers compensation claims.  I specialize in workers compensation and slip and fall cases but I am a Florida job injury attorney.  Laws vary from state to state so what happens in a Florida job injury case may not be the case in your area.  The fact that the employer knew about the condition for two years usually doesn’t matter as workers comp is on the hook for your injuries no matter who is at fault for the accident.  The best advice I can give you is do speak with an attorney that specializes in both workers compensation and slip and fall cases.  He can advise you what the law is in your area, and what your options are.  You apparently have a difference of opinions between the doctors and, at least in a Florida job injury case, there are ways to reconcile the differing opinions.  Workers Comp in most states is entirely a creation of the State’s statutes and as such, all rights you have, and obligations the employers insurance company have, are set out in the Statutes.  You may, and I emphasize "may" because I don’t know your State’s laws, have the right to change doctors, get a second opinion, get an independent medical opinion, or have your work restrictions changed.  In a Florida job injury claim, you can keep the medical portion of your case open for the rest of your life as long as you go to a workers comp authorized doctor at least one time every 12 months.  So, even if you returned to work, if you continued having problems with your injury you can continue going to the doctor.  You should contact an attorney in your area that specializes in  workers compensation claims, and do it soon. There are usually time constraints, known as Statutes of Limitations, for both workers compensation and slip and fall claims.  If you wait too long, you may lose your right to pursue these claims.  Most attorneys specializing in workers compensation claims handle the claims on a contingent basis, i.e. their attorney fees are a percentage of any money they recover for you.  If they don’t recover anything for you, you don’t owe anything.  Most workers comp attorneys also offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.    You may also want to look into a premises liability claim against the owner of the property, or the company/municipality responsible for maintaining the sewer drain. You may find out that you have two claims, a workers comp claim and a liability claim for failing to maintain the drain.  If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me toll free. Good luck.

For more information about a Florida job injury claim, contact Florida work accident compensation lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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