Archive for August, 2009

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Florida Overtime Wage Claims

August 24, 2009

Employees work day in and day out according to the demands of their employers. In return, they get wages for their hard work and they sometimes get benefits, but employees don’t always get everything they deserve when it comes to getting paid for the number of hours they have worked. Partly, this can be due to intimidation on the part of the employee – they may feel they can not question the boss. But often, the employee isn’t even aware they have the right to get paid overtime under certain circumstances.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was passed in 1937. The U. S. adopted the Act in order to set the standards and guidelines for employers. The FLSA established 40 hours per week as the legal work week and stated there should be overtime pay due an employee for hours worked over that standard 40-hour work week. The rate for overtime wages determined by the FLSA is 1.5 times the regular hourly wage for each hour worked beyond the 40 hour week.

In Florida, overtime wage payments follow the U.S. guidelines. Although employers often will ask an employee to do an errand over their lunch break, perhaps attend a meeting on the weekend or after hours without compensation, or ask employees to start or finish their work day by setting up or putting away equipment outside of normal working hours, this is actually illegal. If you have worked under these conditions, you may be entitled to an overtime wage claim in Florida. Think about what you might be entitled to: if you only work 2 hours a week extra (20-30 minutes a day), at $12.00 an hour and do it for two years, your employer could owe you $2,500.00!

Certain employees are not entitled to a Florida overtime wage claim, so it is wise to contact an experienced attorney who can help you decide if you are entitled to additional wages under the FLSA. If you are determined to be owed for unpaid overtime, you could be entitled to:

  • The wages you should have been paid.
  • Court costs.
  • Attorney’s fees.
  • Liquidated damages equal to the amount of overtime wage you should have been paid.
  • Up to three years of back overtime pay.

Also be aware that the FLSA prohibits an employer from punishing or firing an employee who has asserted his or her rights to overtime wages.

Discuss your possible right to make a Florida overtime wage claim with Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529. You can visit his website at http://www.jmmlawyers.com, or email him today. The Law Office of Joseph M. Maus and Associates has handled some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims. Attorneys in their office were recently appointed in Federal Court as lead counsel in an Overtime Class Action against a large Fortune 500 Company. Call their offices today for a free consultation or to obtain more information on Florida overtime wage claims.

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Rain Storm Slip And Fall Injury – Florida Expert Advice

August 24, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Florida Slip And Fall Injury Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question: I am a 25 year old female who lives in Michigan. About a week ago it was raining really hard and I went to the gas station across the street for a cup of coffee, which is normal for me. I opened the door, walked in and immediately violently slipped and caught myself before I hit the ground. There was no rug at the door like there normally is. The attendant looked at me and said "I can’t do anything for you, there is a wet floor sign." He pointed to the sign which was very small and below knee level. My knee and ankle immediately started throbbing so I drove myself to the hospital and they gave me xrays. Nothing was broken, but they told me I had a knee strain and gave me crutches, wrapped my ankle in an ace bandage, and put my left leg in a immobilizer from my thigh to almost my ankle. I contacted a lawyer who took my case, but I was just wondering how hard it would be to win my case. There is a surveillance video, and also I sent a friend to take pictures the same day. You can not see the sign from the outside, and the attendant had moved the rug and the sign to where it was supposed to be. The lawyer sent me to a doctor, who informed me I had messsed up my knee pretty badly (MCL?) and the ligaments in my ankle were messed up. I have multiple contusions in my back and my legs and am in constant pain and not comfortable. I can’t do anything including work for at least a  month and I just started a new job. Another thing is, I am a model, and do quite a bit of runway shows and photoshoots. I live on the third floor of an apartment building and have to have constant help with the stairs, cooking and cleaning etc. I go to this gas station almost everyday, and have never slipped or anything. I had on flip flops, and was not on my cell phone. Also when asked, the attendants would not call the police, so I asked another lady at the pump would she and she said she did not have her cell phone. Before I could ask her anything else the attendant came up behind me and closed the door, prohibiting me from getting a witness statement because the lady drove away. The floor was muddy and wet, as it had been raining really hard and it looked like people had been in and out the gas station because it is open 24 hours. The rug that was supposed to be by the door was pulled all the way back leaving a good 2 feet of open, wet, muddy tile. I didn’t have a chance to see the sign because as soon as I stepped in, I slipped immediately. I am very upset because I am missing work, shows, and just the overall quality of life because I have to keep this brace on for another 3 weeks, then go through physical therapy because I can’t invert my ankle. I was wondering did I have a case? Thank you for your time.

Answer: The answer to your questions depends on the law in Michigan for a slip and fall injury. Florida personal injury claims such as car accidents, slip and fall cases, and work accidents are what I specialize in.  However, laws vary from state to state so what happens in a Florida slip and fall injury may not be the case in Michigan.

The best advice I would give you is do speak with your about your claim.  He can advise you what the law is in Michigan for slip and fall accidents which occur such as yours.  He also knows the facts of your case, good and bad, and can give you an idea of whether you have a good case.

Generally, a store owner owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.  The fact that the store put a "wet floor" sign at the entrance may hurt your case, but maybe just walking in the door you didn’t have a chance to see it.

Has your attorney received a copy of the surveillance video?  That will be the best evidence as they are usually trained right on the entrance/exit. If the store hasn’t provided a copy yet, your attorney should have at least written to the store to make sure they preserve the video as they get recorded over after a certain period of time, i.e. every 24-48 hrs.

I specialize in Florida slip and fall injury cases, but not all lawyers do. Make sure your attorney is one that specializes in premises liability claims.  Many attorneys say they do "personal injury" claims, but after asking around, you’ll find they take anything that walks in the door.  Ask how many claims like yours they have handled.  Ask them if they have tried any cases like yours.  And, how many slip and fall claims they currently have now.

I think you have a good claim based upon the injury, your profession, and the limitations you have right now.  The most difficult part of the claim is going to be proving liability against the store when they have the "wet floor" sign out.  Make sure you document and keep records of the income you are losing as a result of the injury.

For more information about a Florida slip and fall injury, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlaywers.com, or email him today.

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Case Of Slip And Fall On A Hospital Floor – Expert Advice

August 22, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Slip And Fall Case Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Question: I fell on a floor in the hospital while taking care of my brother. I hurt my back and knee pretty badly, but I did not go to the ER at that
hospital till the following day. They took a bunch of x-rays and said nothing
was broken, then referred me to see a back specialist. Is this worth pursuing
anymore? I can walk and do not have too much pain except for when my back has
a spasm. There was definitely something wet on the floor when I slipped.

Answer: The answer to your question is that you may have a claim.  It depends on the

State you live in, and laws that may apply to your claim.  I am an attorney
in Florida specializing in car accident, slip and fall (premises liability)

and workers comp claims.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in
Florida may be different than your state.  In Florida, you probably have a

claim, but you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in
your area to find out what laws may apply to your claim.

Your email is not really specific as to how your fall occurred other than
the floor was wet.  Keep in mind, at least in Florida, just because a person
falls at a business, it does not automatically mean the business owner is
responsible for injuries which result from the fall.  You have to be able to
prove that the business owner knew or should have known of the dangerous

condition that caused the fall, i.e. the wetness on the floor was near a
hospital employee, the wetness was dirty so as to indicate it had been on
the floor for a long time, a leaking roof allowing water to drip onto the
floor, etc.  Generally, a business such as a hospital only owes two duties
to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably
safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions
that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.

In Florida, a slip and fall case is evaluated based upon the degree of liability that

exists against the business, the specific nature of the injury, the amount
and type of medical care and bills that you have had, and that you may
continue to require in the future, and the amount of pain and suffering you
have experienced in the past, and future.  Lost wages and loss of future

earning capacity can also be recovered in Florida.  From what you have
described, your injuries sound significant enough to pursue a claims against
the Hospital.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney in your area
that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. slip and falls.  
Many
attorneys say they do "personal injury" claims, but after asking around,
you’ll find they take anything that walks in the door.  Ask how many claims
like yours they have handled.  Ask them if they have tried any cases like
yours.  Maybe this is not the first time an accident like yours has happened

at this hospital, or maybe the hospital has a pattern of leaving many
dangerous conditions on the premises which have resulted in many claims for

injuries being made against it.  If its a large hospital such as some of the
ones in Florida, you can almost guarantee that there have been other slip and fall case claims
made against it for claims like yours.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney

should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the hospital, find
out what types of coverage are available, preserve and obtain witness
statements, obtain medical records, get photographs of any visible signs of
injury, etc.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims
on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money
they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to
discuss whether you have a viable slip and fall case.

If you claim occurred in Florida, I would appreciate the opportunity to
speak with you about your options.  

For more information about your slip and fall case, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlawyers.com, or email him today.

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Razors Are Sharp! Personal Injury Protection Expert Advice

August 21, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Personal Injury Protection Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Old razor and toothbrush left in hotel bed

Question: My husband, daughter, and I stayed at a hotel in Wilmington, NC. My 3 year old pulled back the covers on our bed and crawled underneath them. She was hiding when I came out of the kitchen to see what she was doing. She was still under the covers, so I pulled them back to find her chewing on a used toothbrush (not ours) and trying to shave her leg with a razor (also not mine) I swiftly took the toothbrush away from her, put the cap back on the razor and put it in a bag. I took it downstairs and reported it to the front desk. I asked for clean sheets because I figured the bed had not been changed either. When I came back up stairs, I noticed that my little girl had a small cut on her ankle. What should I do? I didn’t notice blood before I took the razor and I can’t be certain she was cut. The baby doctor said there aren’t a whole lot of tests that can be run immediately but she was given antibiotics.  I have tried to contact the hotel but have gotten no response. What should I do?

Answer: The answer to your questions depends on the law in NC for premises liability claims. I specialize in Florida personal injury protection claims such as car accidents, slip and fall cases, and work accidents.  However, laws vary from state to state so what happens in a Florida personal injury protection case may not be the same in NC.

The best advice I can give you is do speak with an attorney about your personal injury protection claim.  He can advise you what the law is in NC for an incident such as yours.  The primary question that I don’t know the answer to is whether you have a claim simply based upon the anxiety and uncertainty associated with what happened, or does there need to be a resulting sickness, infection, etc. before making a claim.  I am not trying to minimize what happened because it is pretty outrageous, but Florida has what is called the "impact rule" which in certain cases requires a person to actually suffer a physical injury, rather than just anxiety associated with an incident that occurred.

Generally, a hotel owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.  By the facts you have described, I would say the hotel absolutely breached these duties.

Most Florida accident and injury attorneys will see you for a free consultation to evaluate your case.  I am guessing lawyers in NC will do the same so you have nothing to lose by meeting with an attorney.  Additionally, the lawyer will know how best to pursue the personal injury protection claim, i.e. preserve evidence and witnesses, obtain insurance information, and move the claim forward.

For more information about personal injury protection, contact South Florida injury attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at jmmlawyers.com, or email him today.

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“Nasty” Slip And Fall Case In Walmart – Expert Advice

August 20, 2009

The following is an expert answer given by Slip And Fall Case Lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, and taken from AllExperts.com, a free Q & A service on the internet:

Subject: Slipped and fell in urine at Walmart!

Question: "Hi I was in Walmart and slipped and fell in URINE!! Heres what happened: I was in Walmart with my fiance and 7 month old son. We were in the electronics section looking at cell phones. After 1 of the 3 employees at the register (which was directly across from the aisle in clear view) came and got us a cell phone off the rack because they were locked in, I was following my fiance and I slipped and fell while holding my son in my arms. Thankfully I didn’t drop him. My right fooot slid and landed on my right knee while my left leg slid backwards. I landed on my right hand, falling to the side to save my baby. I yelled for my fiance to come get him and got back up and asked for the manager. The employees then went out to clean the mess. A man that had seen me fall told them to wait for the manager to see it. He gave me his card and said he witnessed it. The manager asked if I needed medical attention. I said no. I filled out an accident report and told him my back and knee hurt as I was filling it out. The manager told them to clean the mess. They announced, "what do we clean up urine with?" I was disgusted! The manager told them to use an anti- bacterial soap. We left the store and my back was in excruciating pain, so I went to the ER. When I got there, they said nothing was fractured or broken and gave me muscle relaxers, Vicoden, and Ibuprofen. The next day, I woke up with horrible neck pain and headaches. I went to another ER and they said they couldn’t do anything more for me because I already had meds and they already took xrays of my back. But these were new symptoms. The next day, I visited my ob-gyn who is my primary care physician. They set me up for an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. He told me to go to physical therapy and also that I had a cervical strain and whiplash. He prescribed me more muscle
relaxers and told me to continue taking the Ibuprofen. I have also seen a chiropractor and a pysical therapist. This happened three weeks ago and I’m still in pain. I can’t spend time with my baby because it hurts to pick him up. I can’t drive. I feel depressed at night. Do I have a case against Walmart? They should have known about the urine because it was in view of a register with 3 employees working and they walk in that aisle constantly for cell phones. There were no kids around at the time I was there. Could it be possible they didn’t want to clean it because it was urine and it’s disgusting?

How much is my case worth? The claims department has called and I missed it, so I called back and left a message but I haven’t heard from them yet. What do I do?

Answer: Your email does not indicate what state your accident occurred in. I am a Florida personal injury accidents lawyer specializing in Florida car accident, slip and fall, and workers compensation claims.  Laws vary from state to state so the laws in Florida may be different that where your incident occurred.  My best advice to you is to speak with an experienced slip and fall injury attorney in your area as soon as possible.

The first thing you need to know, at least under the Florida personal injury accidents laws, is that stores such as Wal Mart are not responsible for injuries arising out of a slip and fall in their store unless the condition that caused the slip and fall was one that Wal Mart knew existed on the floor, or should have known it existed on the floor, and did not take reasonable measures to clean it up or warn customers of its existence.  There are different ways to show this, and different facts to examine to try and satisfy this burden of proof.  It will probably be difficult to prove that Wal Mart actually knew the urine was there, but there are other ways to show that they should have known it was there.  Having a spill on the floor near store cash register employees, especially 3 of them, is a very good way of proving "constructive notice", i.e. that the Store should have known about the problem.

I have dealt with Wal Mart on many Florida personal injury accidents cases.  Wal Mart will not pay much attention to your claim without an attorney. Handling Wal Mart claims is a bit of a specialty as they have voluminous written procedures and video on how the store is to be cleaned, inspected, and what is to be done in the event of a spill, accident and/or injury.  Most experienced slip and fall lawyers have handled cases against Wal Mart before.  The attorney will know that Wal Mart claims are handled out of Bentonville, AR by inhouse adjustors.  To speed up the process of hearing from Wal Mart, you need to call them in AR and find the claim #, and the name of the adjustor assigned to handling the case.  BUT – if you’re considering getting an attorney, I would do it before you speak to Wal Mart.

Your claim has one advantage over many other slip and falls, and that is the employee’s comment about the urine.  I don’t know how the employee knew the substance was urine, versus some other liquid, but his statement is not one that would sit well with a jury.  Assuming you have decent damages, i.e., the extent of your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, it seems like a case Wal Mart would want to settle before going to Court.  From what you have described about the pain still existing 3 weeks after the accident, and the doctor’s recommendations for physical therapy and to treat with an orthopedic, your case most likely has sufficient damages to pursue a claim.

Keep in mind that most slip and fall/personal injury attorneys handle claims like this on a contingent basis.  If there is no recovery, you do not owe an attorney’s fee.  Also, most attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose in getting an expert opinion from a lawyer in your area.

If your accident occurred in Florida, please give me a call.  I would be interested in pursuing the claim for you.

Good Luck.

For more information about Florida personal injury accidents, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.jmmlaywers.com, or email him today.

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Florida Gas Station (Questions About Personal Injury Cases) – Expert Advice

August 15, 2009

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

Subject: Injury from gas nozzle

Question: As I was filling up at a gas station, the hose became disconnected from the nozzle.  The hose separated from the nozzle and soaked the front of me, including my eyes, face and clothing, and our car. I shut the pump off and ran into the store.  The staff was little help at the store, and I used the bathroom of the opposite sex to wash my eyes and face.  It was quite painful but there doesn’t appear to be any permanent damage to my eyes. Assuming my clothes and shoes can be cleaned, there was no property damage, as we washed our car as soon as possible.  The pump nozzle/hose was clearly defective, and I was disappointed in the lack of an emergency eyewash station or solution.  Other than that, the incident was extremely painful and stressful, and pretty much ruined my Saturday, to say the least. I was told to expect a call from management this Monday.  Should I be entitled to some compensation, despite the lack of material damages?

Thanks for your time.

Answer: The answer to your question depends on the law for negligence claims in the state you are in.  I specialize in Florida personal injury cases and negligence cases. Laws vary from state to state so the law in Florida may be different than your state.

The accident you have described is not one that occurs often.  Your email says the hose was "clearly defective".  Assuming you can prove that, you would also need to prove that the gas station owner knew about the defective nozzle, or should have known about it.  Nozzles do not usually come loose from the hose, so you at least have the argument that the owner should have known about the problem.  More than likely, if the owner was checking the pumps on a regular basis, something like this would not have happened.

You may be entitled to some compensation from the gas station, but it is probably not a significant amount.  In Florida, personal injury cases are evaluated based upon the degree of liability that exists against the gas station, the specific nature of the injury, the amount and type of medical care and bills that you have had, and that you may continue to require in the future, and the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced in the past, and future.  Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity can also be recovered in Florida personal injury cases.

Your claim is short on "economic" damages, i.e. those that can be easily quantified such as cleaning bills, medical bills, property damage to the car.  But, your claim does have some value for the pain you had to endure, and the inconvenience, stress and pain caused by the gas spill.  Your best bet is to contact the management company directly and advise you are going to get an attorney to look into this if you cannot get it resolved directly with the management company.  You will probably be able to get a nominal settlement offer from them.

If you don’t get anywhere directly with the management company, the best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims.  The attorney can advise you what the law is in your area for an incident such as yours.  You may be surprised to learn that similar incidents have occurred before at this same gas station, or at other gas stations managed by the owner.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the owner and/or insurance company for the station, find out what types of coverage are available, preserve evidence such as the nozzle, or any records to fix the nozzle, and obtain photographs, etc, that should all be done now.

For more information about Florida personal injury cases, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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Florida Builder (Questions About Personal Injury Cases) – Expert Advice

August 14, 2009

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

Subject: slip & fall

Question: I was at a prominent builder’s design center and caught my foot in the back of an open chair and fell upon a closed door. Upon getting my balance back, I proceeded to open the door and walked a few feet down the hall and there was a huge cracking sound. So loud in fact, that peopled came out of their offices. It was the sound of my ankle breaking. I was down flat on the floor and the ambulance was called. In the interim, my foot swelled to the size of a grapefuit. I spent the night in the hospital and was put in a cast up to my knee. I had to walk with a walker for 6 weeks when it finally came off. Do I have a case for negligence on their part?

Answer: The answer to your question is that you may have a claim. It depends on the State you live in, and laws that may apply to your claim. I am an attorney in Florida specializing in car accident, slip and fall (premises liability) and workers comp claims.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in Florida may be different than your state.  As far as Florida personal injury cases, you probably have a claim, but you should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area to find out what laws may apply to your claim.

Your email is not really specific as to how your ankle got caught in the back of an open chair, and I’m having difficulty envisioning it.  Keep in mind, at least in Florida personal injury cases, just because a person falls at a business, it does not automatically mean the business owner is responsible for injuries which result from the fall.  You have to be able to prove that the business owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused the fall, i.e. something that was wrong with the back of this chair; or that the store acted unreasonably in maintaining their chairs so as to allow the dangerous condition to remain.  Generally, a business owner such as a only owes two duties to persons lawfully on the property – maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn persons on the property of dangerous conditions that the person may not be able to appreciate themselves.

Florida personal injury cases are evaluated based upon the degree of liability that exists against the business, the specific nature of the injury, the amount and type of medical care and bills that you have had, and that you may continue to require in the future, and the amount of pain and suffering you have experienced in the past, and future.  Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity can also be recovered in Florida.  A broken bone in your ankle is a significant injury that a claim can be made for if you can establish liability against the design center.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. slip and falls.  The lawyer can advise you what the law is in your area for premises liability accidents such as yours.

You should contact an attorney in your area that specializes in premises liability claims.  Many attorneys say they do "personal injury" claims, but after asking around, you’ll find they take anything that walks in the door. Ask how many claims like yours they have handled.  Ask them if they have tried any cases like yours.  Maybe this is not the first time an accident like yours has happened at the design center, or maybe the design center has a pattern of leaving many dangerous conditions on the premises which have resulted in many claims for injuries being made against it.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the business, find out what types of coverage are available, preserve and obtain the chair and any photographs of the chair, etc, that should all be done now.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. their attorneys fee is a percentage of any money they recover for you, and offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether you have a viable case.

For more information about Florida personal injury cases, contact Florida premises liability lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today.

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