Archive for January 21st, 2011

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Florida bill would make parasailing safer

January 21, 2011

Parasailing is an activity that is enjoyed by many, but it is not without its dangers. Just last year 27-year-old Alejandra White was killed was enjoying a vacation with her fiancé in Clearwater Beach, Florida when the rope between the parachute and the boat snapped. Now, a bill honoring her is being proposed during this years legislative session.

If the “Alejandra White Act” is passed, Florida parasailing operators will be required to do the following:
• Equip their parasail harness apparatus with safety devices which will allow parasailers to quickly release themselves in the event of an emergency
• Monitor the weather and be required to stop parasail operations during high winds
• All parasail boat operators to be licensed by the US Coat Guard
• Carry at least $1 million per person in injury and death insurance

Many places in Miami and Fort Lauderdale beach offer parasailing to both tourists and locals. Sadly, many who have been injured in the past have not been able to receive proper compensation for their accidents.

If you are injured in a parasailing or boating claim in Florida your accident may fall under a number of different laws including Florida State law or Florida maritime and admiralty laws. Contact attorney Joseph M. Maus for any additional information.

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Video Surveillance and Florida Workers’ Compensation Claims

January 21, 2011

Technology is everywhere these days – people are using cell phone cameras on a regular basis, video cameras can easily be carried in a pocket or purse, and more and more companies are setting up video cameras in and around their businesses. These cameras are generally used to help contribute to the safety of employees and the bottom line of the company, as in the case of preventing theft by employees or vendors. But what if you are injured on the job and the company uses video surveillance footage to fight your Florida workers’ compensation claims?

This new approach illustrates the need to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in your corner because employers will do all they can to avoid having to pay for a workers’ comp claim. Several recent cases have involved the employer entering the footage from company surveillance cameras as a defense in order to show that workers are lying about the extent of their injuries. The employers are trying to prove that the worker either “isn’t really injured” or is making more out of their injuries than they should be. This new tactic means that employees will need to be able to explain everything they do after an injury claim is filed, both at work and on their personal time. As an example, in a recent workers’ compensation case in Illinois, the employer entered video surveillance footage of an injured employee being able to get in and out of his car, being able to walk into a store, and being able to squat down to pick something up. The employer claimed this footage showed that the injured worker was making more out of his back and shoulder injuries than necessary. The employee’s lawyer argued the employee’s case and the worker was ultimately awarded disability benefits for 187 weeks.

Video surveillance from the employee’s place of business isn’t the only type of video surveillance that can be used to discredit your Florida worker’s compensation claim. Companies are also using video footage that has been shot by private investigators. Often, this footage can be taken out of context such as when a person has mobility issues due to pain, but is able to move fairly well after taking pain medication. If a video was shot after the pain killers had been taken and the injured worker was able to move more freely, the company would try to claim that the employee was faking.

What does this mean for your workers’ compensation claim? Keep in mind that, even if your employer tries to use video surveillance to try to discredit your claim, the workers compensation judges will listen to both sides of the story. However, to be sure of the best outcome, be sure to hire an experience workers’ comp attorney. Your attorney is on your side and will make sure you get the benefits you deserve for your injury, for future medical treatments, and for loss of wages.

Remember:

  • Your employer and their insurance company will not be on your side. They will want to settle your claim for as little money as possible and will be looking out for themselves, not for you!
  • You have the right to hire an attorney to help look out for you. If you do hire a lawyer, make sure you hire one that has extensive experience with Florida workers’ compensation claims. They must be very familiar with the Florida workers compensation laws because these laws are complex and are amended by the Florida Legislature annually.
  • An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will know how to address video surveillance if it is requested or entered in your case.

For more information about Florida workers compensation claims, 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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