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The Rise and “Phal” of the Workers’ Compensation System- by: Diana I. Castrillon, Esq.

In February of 2013 a three-judge panel at the First District Court of Appeals in the case of Westphal v. City of St. Petersberg ruled that a portion of the Florida Workers Compensation statute was unconstitutional.  Specifically, the Court held:

“… that section 440.15(2)(a), Florida Statutes, is unconstitutional as applied,

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The city of Orlando is among the nation’s most popular tourist destinations. Known for its sunny Florida weather, restaurants, and museums as well as its world-famous theme parks. Orlando belongs on a number of prized top ten lists, but unfortunately, Orlando also makes it into the top ten of a recent list of cities with the most aggressive drivers on the road. 

It’s a serious issue, as aggressive driving leads to car accidents, injuries and fatalities. The state of Florida overall is not known for having the best drivers either. According to a study that looked at four different factors to rank the worst drivers in the country, Florida was number eight for the year 2018. For 2017, Florida was number one in the country for having the worst drivers.

The analysts in the aggressive driving study looked at the frequency of hard breaking, swift acceleration and speeding. There are a number of other actions that might constitute aggressive driving, for example:

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On February 22, 2019 Freeman Injury Law’s workers compensation attorney, Diana Castrillon presented a “Case Law Update” to the local Bar of attorneys at the 2019 Workers’ Compensation Conference.  Only certain attorneys are selected based on skill and experience to carry out this highly anticipated panel presentation. Attorney Castrillon was honored to have been chosen to update a group of their colleagues of the current state of Workers Compensation law in Florida. Ms. Castrillon researched all the latest cases and studied them extensively so that she could educate the local attorneys with regards to any changes in the law.

The cases Ms. Castrillon presented at the Case Law Update involved medical treatment, statute of limitations, pretrial rules, motions to enforce agreements, one-time change in medical providers, payment of temporary disability benefits, payment of advances on compensation, evidence and independent medical examinations.

One important case to recently come out of the 1st District Court of Appeals in Florida,  is Myers v. Pasco County School Board, No. 1D17-5457 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018),  where an injured worker was seeking a one-time change from her orthopedic surgeon to a new orthopedist.  The insurance company provided the injured worker, Myers, with a neur  osurgeon instead because that doctor was likely more favorable to the insurance company.  Myers attorney filed a claim against the Employer/Carrier arguing that a neurosurgeon is a different medical specialty that an orthopedic and that it was not appropriate to send the injured worker to a different specialty without a referral.  At the lower court level, the Judge agreed with the Employer/Carrier and said that the specialty of the physician is close enough that both of these types of doctors can treat similar medical conditions.  So the Court said this was substantial compliance with Myer’s request.  However, this case was then sent up on appeal and the 1st District Court of Appeals did not agree with the Judge and ordered the Employer/Carrier to provide the injured workers with a new doctor within the same medical specialty as he requested, orthopedics.  This case made it clear to the employer and insurance carrier that the rules are being strictly construed and when an injured worker asks for an “orthopedic,” they must be provided with exactly what they request.

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Unintentional falls are among the leading causes of accidental injury in the state of Florida. According to data published by the Florida Department of Health, falls are the leading cause of death for people over the age of 65. During the year 2012 alone the economic impact of unintentional fall accidents was in excess of $3.6 billion statewide. The median medical admission charge was more than $46,000.

The circumstances leading to a slipped on wet floor injury in South Florida vary widely from case to case. They might involve employees of the business, customers or invited guests on private property. The most common injuries that resulted from unintentional falls during the year 2012 included:

  • Hip fractures,
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How Much Compensation for Back Injury in Florida Varies

Back injuries are among the most persistent, life-altering injuries a person can sustain. They vary in severity from mild strains up to causing paralysis and can result from slips and falls, medical negligence, motor vehicle accidents or other circumstances. People who suffer back injuries often wonder how much compensation for a back injury they can count on in the state of Florida. The compensation available varies from case to case, but injured parties might be able to recover finances from lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses and/or other damages.

Recent Back Injury Client in Florida 

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Holiday illness compensation claims in South Florida can be made when a buyer of a holiday vacation package suffers an illness that is covered by contract warranty agreement the customer signed with a travel agency.

Many such claims have centered on holiday traveler food poisoning in South Florida or while on a cruise. The most Florida Foodborne Illness Surveillance and Investigation Annual Report indicated a total of 37 outbreaks for 2011. Foodborne illness statistics in Florida were most recently updated by the state health department in 2011, and tourism has increased steadily since then, so we can expect the true numbers are likely higher.

Common Holiday Illness Compensation Claims in Florida

Some of the most common types of illness resulting in holiday illness compensation claims in South Florida include: Continue reading →

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A manufacturer involved in a Florida accident at work claim is now also facing nearly $400,000 in fines, with federal work safety officials alleging the company failed to protect its employees from this type of work-related accident. 

Like many on-the-job amputation injuries in Florida, this one involved lack of machine guarding. While amputations can potentially occur in any type of job site, those at manufacturing plants like this one in Hialeah tend to be much higher. Most who file a Florida accident at work claim for an amputation have lost a finger.

Valuation of Florida Accident at Work Claim for Finger Amputation

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If you are injured while on holiday in Florida from Canada, Europe, Australia or elsewhere, you may be searching for holiday compensation solicitors in South Florida. reveals Canada has the most international visitors to Florida, followed by the United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Germany. An estimated 12 million international visitors flock to Florida each year for our renowned beaches and boating, splashy theme parks and cruises and cosmopolitan cities and resorts. When any of these activities results in injury

Where Can I Find Holiday Compensation Solicitors in South Florida After Injury?

For the most part, the foundation of personal injury law in these nations is very similar (having derived largely from the Old English judicial model), it is important to point out a few key differences. There aren’t technically “solicitors” or “barristers” the way there are in your home country. There are simply lawyers, a term used interchangeably with attorneys.  Continue reading →

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Heat-related work hazards are severe in the South. Florida workers’ compensation law does allow for coverage of job site illnesses such as heat stroke – but only when it results in a week or more of lost time at work. As The Miami Herald reported recently, Florida has one of the highest heat-related hospitalizations in the country, with agricultural and construction workers at highest risk. Even that is a low estimate, given that many conditions, such as heart attacks, asthma and even mental illness could be aggravated as a result of high heat. The key is proving those conditions were caused or substantially impacted by conditions of overheating at work – which is why having a Miami workers’ compensation attorney is so essential in these cases.

The problem is only going to get worse, according to a number of worker advocacy groups, thanks to rapidly rising temperatures due to climate change. A health project coordinator for the Farmworker Association of Florida stated many workers in the field have reported a noted rise in the temperatures as they work day in day out in the blazing Florida sun. A recent report by the United Nations revealed average U.S. temperatures have risen more than 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last three decades. Unchecked, it will rise another 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, which the U.N. said could have a catastrophic impact for humans in general. Continue reading →

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Feasting with friends and family is one of the many celebrated holiday traditions. Although we tend to think of the winter holiday season as one where we spread family recipes, cheer and gifts, the truth is food poisoning on holiday in South Florida is unfortunately too common.

Of course, food poisoning can occur at any time, but our South Florida injury lawyers know some of the problems that can lead to foodborne illness during this otherwise festive time include:

  • Restaurants, grocery stores, cruise ships, hotels and food processing plants are extremely busy in the latter months of the year. This can lead to overlooking important sanitary guidelines for food safety.
  • Mail-order foods – especially meats, cheeses, fruits and seafood – can be especially hazardous if not properly packed, shipped, stored and delivered. These are popular items in gift baskets this time of year.
  • Holiday buffets, whether at restaurants, office parties or family gatherings can become breeding grounds for foodborne illness when food is left out for long stretches.
  • Amateur cooks (and sometimes even experienced ones) are rushed and sometimes fail to follow proper food prep safety.
  • Certain popular holiday foods, such as eggnog, turkey and even baked goods can be hazardous if not properly prepared or surfaces thoroughly cleaned.
  • Growers and distributors may not properly label “post-purge” dates on food items sold in stores and wholesale to restaurants.

Symptoms of a foodborne illness include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, aches, flu-like systems, and lethargy. Although most people can recover from food poisoning, those with compromised immune systems, children and the elderly may be especially vulnerable to developing serious complications. If you have fallen seriously ill as a result of food poisoning on holiday, contact our South Florida injury lawyers for information about your legal options.  Continue reading →

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