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Articles Tagged with work injury

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Typically if you are injured at work, you should be able to collect workers’ compensation insurance. However, because workers’ compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy,” your employer is immune from further litigation related to that injury – even if the company was negligent. There are a few exceptions, but they are very narrow.cars

What’s more, this immunity extends also to co-workers who are acting in the course and scope of employment. That means even if your co-worker does something that is extremely careless and you wind up hurt, you still can’t sue them. But (there’s always a “but”) there could be an exception if your co-worker was not acting in the course and scope of employment. This would apply to an extremely narrow set of circumstances, particularly if the plaintiff qualified for workers’ compensation. However, it is possible, as the recent Washington Supreme Court case of Entila v. Cook illustrates.

According to court records, defendant and plaintiff were both employees of the same company. One was heading into work, and one was leaving. The injury occurred as plaintiff was crossing the street on an access road belonging to the company, while defendant, operating his personal vehicle on that same road after finishing his shift. Defendant struck plaintiff with his vehicle, causing plaintiff to suffer serious personal injuries. Continue reading →

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In many Florida injury lawsuits, plaintiffs must prove the defendant is negligent. That means proving defendant owed a duty of care to plaintiff, defendant breached that duty, the breach caused plaintiff’s injuries and the injuries are compensable. However, there are some situations in which one need not prove the defendant was negligent. One can assert vicarious liability for the negligent actions of another person. There are several examples, but one of those stems from ownership of a dangerous instrumentality.bobcat

The dangerous instrumentality doctrine is one that stems from common law and it holds that the owner of an inherently dangerous tool is liable for any injuries resulting from the operation of that tool. It’s a form of strict vicarious liability. In Florida, the 1938 state supreme court case of Southern Cotton Oil Co. v. Anderson resulted in the finding that motor vehicles are a type of dangerous instrumentality. That’s why an owner of a motor vehicle in Florida can be held liable for injuries caused by someone else’s negligent operation of said vehicle. The idea is that if you trust someone with a motor vehicle with knowledge and consent, you are responsible if it’s used negligently on a public road.

But there are questions that arise occasionally about what other objects may be considered a dangerous instrumentality. It matters a great deal when we’re considering which persons or entities can be liable. One such case recently before Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal was that of Newton v. Caterpillar et al, stemming from a work injury.  Continue reading →

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Highway work zones are dangerous both for the motorists who navigate them and the workers employed there.constructionroad

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports an estimated 88,000 crashes happened in work zones in 2010. Most of these don’t lead to fatalities, but when they do, it can leave families reeling. When a worker is killed, he or she is often a major contributor to the family household income, and it’s important for families to explore all viable options for compensation to ensure future financial security.

Luckily, most if not all of these workers are entitled to some form of workers’ compensation. This is money paid out to an injured worker or, in the event of the worker’s death, his or her surviving, dependent family members. It is not necessarily in a workers’ compensation action to prove negligence, only that the accident occurred in the course and scope of employment. However, workers/family members who collect these benefits cannot pursue legal action against the employer for negligence. There may be an opportunity to file a third-party liability action, but that will depend on the circumstances of the case. Continue reading →

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