Archive for September, 2009

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Florida Workers Compensation Injury Information

September 30, 2009

Generally speaking, most of us go off to work every day, do our jobs, and come back home injury-free. The majority of people probably don’t even think about the fact that there is always a chance that they may be injured on the job. But, work-related injuries happen in the blink of an eye and, while it’s not too late to think about things after the injury occurs, it is better to be prepared. This article outlines the basic procedures to follow in the event of a work-related injury, what your rights are, and what worker’s compensation can do for you.

  • If you suffer a workplace injury, Florida Workers Compensation requires you to report it to your employer as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the injury occurs, or you risk having the claim denied.
  • Your employer is then required to report your injury to their insurance company within seven days. If your employer will not report the injury to their insurance company, you have the right to report it yourself under Section 440.185 , of the Florida Statutes.
  • The insurance company must provide you with a brochure outlining your rights and responsibilities, as well as additional Florida workers compensation injury information.
  • Your employer or their insurance company maintains a list of authorized medical providers. You must choose a provider from this list in order to get coverage for the necessary medical care, prescriptions, and treatment for your injury.
  • You may petition for a one-time change of physician, but exercise this right carefully.
  • Under Florida law, you are not paid for the first seven days of disability, however the insurance company might pay you if your disability extends beyond 21 days.
  • Florida law does not require your employer to hold your job open for you until the doctor releases you to work again, however you may be protected under the Family Medical Leave Act..
  • If you can not return to the type of work you did before your injury, Florida workers compensation entitles you to vocation counseling, transferable skills analysis, job-seeking skills, job placement, on-the-job training, and formal retraining at no cost to you.
  • If you settle your claim for medical benefits with the insurance company and your condition gets worse later, you are responsible for your future medical needs after your claim has been settled.
  • You have the right to retain an attorney to help make sure your rights are protected and your injuries are properly compensated. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced Florida work accident compensation lawyer. You want to be sure the attorney you hire knows the ins and outs of the Florida workers compensation laws as these laws are complex and are amended by the Florida Legislature annually

No one heads off to work in the morning expecting to be injured on the job. Hopefully, you will never have to even worry about using workers compensation. But, if you do have to use it, at least now you are better prepared with some information about your rights and the basics about how the Florida Workers Compensation system works.

For more Florida workers compensation injury information, contact Florida work accident compensation lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, logon to his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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Florida Slip and Fall Cases – Atlantic City Casino – Expert Advice

September 25, 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 and Fall at an Atlantic City Casino

Question: 10 days ago, I was staying at the Borgota Casino in AC. After
coming back inside from checking the weather (it was very nasty and rainy
out), I tripped and fell onto my left knee in the entrance way. Because of
the weather and foot traffic from the revolving door, the floor was wet, but
there weren’t any "CAUTION WET FLOOR" signs.
I assumed that I just bumped it and it was swollen so I didn’t take any
further action to report it. I don’t have health insurance so I didn’t want
to have to pay an enormous fee at the hospital to get it checked out.

It’s been 10 days, and I can’t even bend my knee now. The swelling hasn’t
gone down, and I feel there may be some fluid in my knee cap. Like I said, I
have been laid off from my job, and don’t have health insurance and can’t
afford to see a doctor. How do you suggest I go about contacting the Borgota
and letting them know of my injury? Is it too late?

Thanks for your help.

Answer: It is not too late, but it’s getting close.  My advice to you
is to contact an accident lawyer in New Jersey and discuss the claim with
him/her asap.  The answer to your question depends on the law in New Jersey
for slip and fall accidents, and how bad your injuries are.  I am a Florida
accident lawyer specializing in auto accidents, Florida slip and fall cases, and workers
compensation claims.  Laws vary from state to state so the law in a Florida
slip and fall
claim may be different than one in New Jersey.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with a accident lawyer in New
Jersey that specializes in premises liability claims, i.e. slip and falls.
He can advise you what the law is in New Jersey for slip and fall accidents
such as yours.

Generally, a landowner such as 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.  Water on the floor is a pretty common
example of the hotel not maintaining the property in a reasonably safe
condition.  The fact that it occurred near the revolving door, with poor
weather outside, indicates the hotel either knew of the slippery floor, or
definitely should have known about it.  If you can establish liability against the hotel, you should be entitled to compensation for your injury,
pain and suffering, lost wages, and whatever benefits New Jersey law allows.

I have found in Florida slip and fall cases, many people will wait to see if the injury disappears over time, but often
times it does not.  You have not waited too long, but you should move
quickly to have a accident attorney evaluate your claim, and to seek medical
care.  Your attorney can advise you of ways to seek medical care even if you
don’t have health insurance.

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney
should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the casino, find out
what types of coverage are available, obtain photographs, etc, that should
all be done now.  The Borgota is a large hotel/casino.  There are most
likely other cases like yours which have occurred there.  If you contact an
experienced accident lawyer, he/she has most likely handled a claim against
the Borgota and can tell you whether an incident like yours is a common
occurrence there.

Most accident 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.  So, you have nothing to lose by
meeting with an accident lawyer to discuss the claim.  If it has been 10
days and your knee is still swollen, you are probably going to find an
accident attorney interested in pursuing your claim.

For more information about your rights in a case of a Florida slip and fall injury, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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Americans Continue To Get Short-Changed On Overtime – Florida Overtime Wage Information

September 25, 2009

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires most employers to pay their employees one and one half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours per work week.  This law applies to employees who are being paid on a hourly basis, being paid a salary, and even those paid by tips, such as waitresses and bartenders.  Although this law seems simple and common sense, thousands of workers each day are not being paid their overtime pay by their employer.

 A recent study found that the failure to pay overtime wages continues to occur at an alarming rate and affects many different types of wage earners.   In a report entitled “Broken laws, unprotected workers”, a joint report by the University of Illinois Center for Urban Economic Development, the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, and The National Employment Law Project, it was determined that non-payment of overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act, continues to be a huge problem for America’s workers. 

      Concluded in 2008, the study reviewed more than 4,000 workers in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.  The study found that the most common overtime violations were: 

  • More than 25% of the workers involved in the study worked more than 40 hours per week but were not paid one and one half times their regular rate of pay.  The average worker had put in 11 hours of overtime that were either not paid for at all, or not paid at the correct overtime rate.
  • Off the clock violations – Close to 25% of the workers came in early, or stayed late after their shift ended.  Close to 70% of these people did not receive any pay at all for the work they performed once their regular shift ended.
  • Meal break violations – Employers are required to provide a meal break.  Most of the people studied (86%) worked enough hours to be entitled to a meal break, yet were not allowed one.  Close to 70% received no meal break at all, or had their break shortened by interruptions from their employer or required to work during their lunch break.
  • Tipped job violations – The Fair Labor Standards Act requires tipped employees to be paid their overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work week.  Of the workers involved in the study, 30% were not paid the tipped minimum wage, in addition to their overtime wages.

The study is somewhat alarming in that it involved so many workers nationwide, yet the overtime wage violations were so frequent.  These same types of violations occur in Florida with workers not being paid their Florida overtime wage

If you have a question or need a free consultation to determine whether you are being paid the correct amount on your Florida overtime wage, contact Florida overtime attorney Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529 or email him today. Attorney Joseph M. Maus is an overtime wage claim lawyer specializing in Florida overtime wage claims.  Mr. Maus served has served as Class Counsel on some of the largest Florida overtime wage claims in recent history. 

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Florida Slip and Fall Cases – Disney World – Expert Advice

September 23, 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: Disney World – Florida Slip and Fall Case

Question: The first day of our Disneyworld vacation it was a little rainy
out and while walking down the stairs at the resort, I slipped and fell down
a flight. There are no step grips or signs stating caution or anything.  I did
notify the manager and received ice packs for my bruises.  My leg was pretty
bruised up and my back was a little sore.  Needless to say it ruined half of
our vacation time. Is there anything I should or could do?

Answer: In a Florida slip and fall you have the right to make a claim for
injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages when you are
injured as a result of another party’s negligence. Your injuries may heal
on their own in the next few weeks, or they may not.  So it is important to
take a few steps now that will protect your rights in the future.

The best advice I can give you is to speak with an attorney that specializes

in premises liability claims, i.e. slip and fall.  Your email does not say
where you live but you will most likely want to speak with a slip and fall
lawyer in Florida.  Because your accident occurred in Florida, it will be
controlled by Florida law, and any lawsuit that may need to be filed will
need to be filed in Florida.  Laws vary from state to state, so it is best
to speak with a slip and fall lawyer in Florida.

Depending on what resort your accident occurred at, there are slip and fall
lawyers in the Orlando area that specialize in claims against Disney World.
Between the different amusement parks, hotels and activities going on at DW,
there are thousands of claims that occur there every year.  Your email
doesn’t indicate whether it was a Disney resort, or just a resort in the
Disney area.  You may be surprised to learn that you are not the first one
to slip in this area at this resort.  Either way, you have a claim, and you
should look into it.

Your email also doesn’t indicate whether you are still at the resort.  If
you are, you should take several photos of the area where you fell, closeups
and photos from a distance to give perspective on where the accident
occurred, and why the area was wet.  You also want to make sure the manager
fills out an incident report, and you get a copy of the report, too.

Keep in mind, at least in a Florida slip and fall, just because a person falls on a
property, it does not automatically mean the property owner or manager is
responsible for injuries which result from the fall.  You have to be able to
prove that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous

condition that caused the fall, i.e. that the area you fell at gets wet
often, or becomes slippery when wet, or that they failed to maintain this
area in a reasonably safe condition.  Generally, a property owner 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.  This
means that if this is an area that regularly gets wet when it rains, the
resort should have taken steps to make sure that it protects its guests
against the slippery area, or at a minimum, warns guests about the slippery
area.

There is probably Medical Payments Insurance coverage available to you.
"Medpay" is coverage that will reimburse people that get injured on the
property for out of pocket medical expenses.  You need to get a copy of the
property manager’s insurance policy to see whether they have medpay, and if
so, what are the medpay policy limits.  You can obtain this by contacting
the resort, or if you retain a Florida slip and fall lawyer, they will know
how to get the information.

Claims in the case of a Florida slip and fall are evaluated based upon the degree of liability that
exists against the resort, the specific nature of the injuries, 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.  Additionally, the effect
the injuries had on your vacation, and on your family, can be factored into
a settlement demand or jury verdict.

You should contact a Florida premises liability attorney soon.  There are
many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the resort and the
insurance company for the resort, find out what types of insurance coverage
is available, make sure photos have been taken of the area.  There are also
statutes of limitations which may apply and preclude you from bringing a
claim if you wait too long.
You also want to make sure that you seek medical care to document your
injuries now, and how they occurred, rather than wait to see if the injuries
go away.  Delays in seeking medical care can hurt your chances of a recovery
when you try to settle the claim

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims
on a contingent basis,i.e. the 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.  So you really have nothing to lose
by at least speaking to a Florida slip and fall lawyer to find out whether
you can pursue a claim.

For more information about your rights in a case of a Florida slip and fall injury, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at mauslawfirm.com or email him today.

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Florida Slip and Fall Cases – Broken Foot – Expert Advice

September 13, 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:

Question: I had a slip & fall which caused a broken foot.   Surgery was done & 10 weeks of physical therapy. What is the usual payout on this type of lawsuit?

Answer: The value of your claim depends on many, many factors, and it would be difficult for me to even guess what your claim might be worth. The short answer is – there is no "usual payout" on an injury claim.  The reason is each claim is different factually, and different in the way it affects people.

For starters, your email does not indicate in what state you live.  I am a personal injury lawyer in Florida specializing in car accident claims, slip and fall claims, and workers compensation claims.  If your claim occurred in Florida, my suggestion is to give me a call toll-free at (866) 556-5529 to discuss your claim in detail.  Laws vary from state to state, so the law for Florida slip and fall cases may be quite different than the laws where you live.

You most likely have a claim for payment of your medical bills, and a claim for your injury and pain and suffering.  Claims in Florida slip and fall cases are evaluated based upon the degree of liability that exists against the property manager, 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.

Keep in mind, at least in Florida slip and fall cases, just because a person falls on a property, it does not automatically mean the property owner or manager is responsible for injuries which result from the fall.  You have to be able to prove that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused the fall.  Generally, a property owner or property manager 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.  Your email does not give any details about how or where the accident occurred, so it is difficult to know whether you can make a claim.

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

You should contact an attorney soon.  There are many steps your attorney should take now, i.e. notify the insurance company for the property owner, find out what types of coverage are available, including whether any medical payments coverage exists.  If the accident occurred at a big box store, or large development, you’ll want to check to see whether there have been claims similar to yours that occurred at the location.  There are also statutes of limitations which may apply and preclude you from bringing a claim if you wait too long.

Most attorneys specializing in premises liability claims handle the claims on a contingent basis,i.e. the 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. You have nothing to lose to at least speak to an accident injury lawyer to see whether you have a claim, and also get a better idea of the value of your claim.

If you are in Florida, I would be interested in speaking to you further about your claim.

For more information about Florida slip and fall cases, contact Florida premises liability lawyer, Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at mauslawfirm.com or email him today.

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Florida Boating Accidents and Deaths on the Rise

September 12, 2009

The United States Coast Guard recently released its study on boating accident which occurred in 2008.  Unfortunately, the study indicates deaths occurring in boating accidents are on the rise.  The Coast Guard reported that boating fatalities increased from 5.3 per 100,000 registered recreational boaters to 5.6 in 2008.  The Coast Guard recorded a total of 709 boating deaths in 2008, 3,331 boating injuries, approximately 54 million dollars in damage to property, all arising out of 4,789 boating accidents.  The primary causes of the accidents, injuries and property damage are operator inattention, careless or reckless operation, no proper lookout, operator inexperience, and passenger or skier behavior. 

Florida boat accident attorney Joseph M. Maus also points out that many of the accidents involve alcohol consumption.  The Coast Guard’s report indicates that alcohol consumption was listed as the leading contributing factor in 17% of the boating wrongful deaths that occurred in 2008.   

The number of recent Florida boating accidents did improve in one category relating to those boating accidents caused by alcohol use.  In 2007, Florida had more alcohol related boating accidents, and alcohol related boating wrongful deaths, than any other state.  But, California now carries the banner for 2008 as the state having the most alcohol related boating accidents and boating wrongful deaths. 

Simple precautionary measures can be taken to drastically reduce the likelihood of Florida boating accidents, injury or boating wrongful death, say Attorney Maus.  For starters, over 2/3 of the boating accident wrongful death victims drowned. Of those victims, 90% were not wearing a life jacket.  Boating accidents occur very suddenly and usually do not give the driver or passengers time to react.  The simple use of Personal Flotation Device (PFD) could be the difference between life and death during a boating accident.   

Most states, including Florida, offer boat owners and operators a boating safety course.  However, very few boat operators take advantage of these classes.  Only 10% of the boating wrongful deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received a boating safety instruction course. 

There are many factors which contribute to serious boating accidents in Florida.  These include the items mentioned above such as wearing a PFD, and attending a boating safety course.  However, in order to fully investigate the cause of Florida boating accidents or injuries, you need to consider the location of the accident, navigational markers and rules governing the area, the tides, wind, time of day, type of boats involved in the accident, and many other factors. 

Florida boating accident lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, has operated boats throughout South Florida, the Bahamas and Florida Keys for over 30 years.  If you or a loved one have been involved in any serious Florida boating accidents, get advice from the experienced Florida boating accident lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph M. Maus, to determine your rights.  For a free, no obligation consultation, call Toll Free 866-556-5529 or log onto http://www.mauslawfirm.com today.

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Cruise Ship Accidents Can Leave You High And Dry In A Court Of Law!

September 10, 2009

It has probably never occurred to most of the millions of annual cruise ship vacationers that they could be seriously injured or even killed while on their vacation. Maybe they missed watching the blockbuster movie, "Titanic", but even if they saw it, the prevailing thought is that being on vacation somehow makes one infallible. After all, the Titanic accident happened many years ago and ships are much safer now, right? Wrong! Every month, the major cruise lines report incidents such as persons falling overboard, weather-related accidents, and even accidents involving passengers who are attending dry-land excursions away from the ship. A quick visit to cruisejunkie.com allows vacationers to see a list of incidents involving each cruise line and can give you an idea of any cruise line’s safety record and their care of passengers.

Modern cruise ships can carry up to 5000 passengers on a single cruise.  At close to 1000 feet long, the ships have many areas where a person can become injured through no fault of their own. The cruise lines register their ships in various countries, which either makes them subject to the laws of the country where they are registered or subject to maritime law, but not necessarily subject to the law in the United States. Florida Cruise Ship Accident Lawyer, Joseph Maus, says, "depending on when and where your accident occurs, your claim may be controlled by Florida law, Federal Maritime law, or a law from a foreign port. Accidents and injuries which occur on Cruise Ships can be won and lost on requirements which apply only to Cruise Ships. Take a look at your Cruise Ticket for some of these "special" requirements".

It would seem that passengers who have cruise ship accidents should just be able to file a claim and receive payment the same way they would if they were injured in an accident at home in the States. But because these cruise lines are operating under different rules and laws, you should not try to handle the accident claim on your own. This is one area where you really want to have an experienced attorney standing along side you – specifically one who is skilled in filing claims for cruise ship accidents.

  • For example, Maus says: "Cruise lines often insert special provisions into their passenger tickets that shorten the time in which a passenger may file a law suit against the cruise line to one year. (The normal statute of limitations for admiralty and maritime matters is three years; for a typical car accident claim it is four years!)".
  • These same provisions generally require you to give notice of a claim for injury or death due to negligence against the cruise line within 6 months!
  • Maus also says: "Cruise lines also designate within their passenger tickets the only location where they can be sued. (Take a look at the tiny print on the back of your ticket). Most of the major cruise lines are based in Miami, Florida and designate Miami, Florida as the location where they must be sued." This means that if you live in Maine and vacation on a cruise, you may have to litigate in Miami at considerable cost and time to you.

It stands to reason that cruise lines will register their ships under the flags of countries that have laws that favor the cruise company. Consequently, when you see a number of ships registered in a particular country, you can bet that country is one of the more lax in terms of labor or safety laws. The majority of ships are registered in Panama, Liberia, or the Bahamas, and many cruise lines will even register one ship in one country and another ship in another country, in order to get around the laws of the United States. Most cruise lines also advertise that they are, for example, "headquartered in Miami, Florida". This would make a passenger believe that U. S. laws would protect them. But, this is designed to make passengers feel falsely secure. Being headquartered in the U.S. does not mean the ships are registered in the U. S. – and if they are registered in another country, passengers involved in cruise ship accidents will, again, be at the mercy of the laws of the registering country or maritime law. To top it off, most cruise lines are not even American-owned, which means they can bypass the laws that ordinarily govern American corporations.

This article is not meant to turn you away from that long-dreamt-of cruise vacation. Rather, it is meant to make cruise line passengers aware that cruise ship accidents require navigating through confusing and archaic laws. If you are injured while on a cruise, talk to an experienced cruise ship accident lawyer as soon as you get back to dry land so you can protect your rights.

For more information about cruise ship accidents and advice about an accident claim, contact cruise ship accident lawyer Joseph M. Maus at 1-866-556-5529, visit his website at http://www.mauslawfirm.com, or email him today.

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