Smith, Feddeler & Smith, P.A.

Polk County Legal Blog

How a car accident injury could affect your mental health

There are strong links between physical health and mental health. Becoming depressed or otherwise mentally unwell can potentially manifest itself physically in many ways. Conversely, if you become physically injured, this can have profound effects on your mental health and your quality of life.

If you have recently been involved in a car accident and you were injured, looking into your options for gaining compensation is a good idea. The compensation you seek could reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses that were incurred as a result of the car accident, but you may also be able to gain compensation to cover the emotional pain and distress that you suffered.

Motorcycle safety tips for every ride

Defensive tactics have to be a priority for bikers. And educational campaigns continue to try to get across to other motorists to look for bikes. 

For the motorcyclist, there are things that need to be done before they even leave home. Safety has to continue onto the road as well. Whether you are riding solo or in a group, consider these tips.

Assessing car accident head injuries in children

If you were involved in a car accident and a child was in the car at the time, it is likely that the well-being of the child will be your first concern. Young children are more vulnerable in a car accident because they are still growing and developing.

Generally speaking, the younger the child is, the higher risk there is of a serious brain injury occurring in a car accident. However, the seriousness of the impact, as well as specific details - was the child in the proper car seat and belted appropriately - will affect the risk of a head injury.

Using sick or vacation to cover workers' comp time off

Here is the question: Can my Employer make me use my sick or vacation pay when I miss time for workers' compensation? Employers often offer vacation or holiday pay as well as some form of sick pay. Sometimes, the employer lumps all of these forms of benefits into one Personal Time Off (PTO) category.

Regardless of what it is called, the employer cannot use vacation or sick pay, earned before the industrial accident, instead of paying for workers' compensation benefits it owes. In other words, if you earned some form of PTO for work that was done before the injury, it is improper for the employer to make you use this leave instead of paying workers' compensation benefits. Keep reading for several examples.

How to deal with retaliation after filing a workers' comp claim

We often hear these sentiments and questions: After filing a workers' compensation claim, my employer is treating me so badly that I want to quit. Can I quit my job without it impacting my case?

All too often, we find that employers either directly or indirectly retaliate against workers who are injured on the job or make workers' compensation claims. Overt retaliation may occur when an employer fires a worker directly after an accident. We have even seen employers admit to firing our clients because of the accident, because they were "being sued," or because they were "too much of a risk."

More often, however, the employer engages in indirect conduct designed to make the injured worker miserable, to the point that she or he quits. Keep reading this post for examples of how this happens and protections contained in Florida law.

Are mental or nervous injuries compensable under Florida workers compensation?

As with many areas of the law, the answer is sometimes. If the mental or nervous injury is in any way connects to an actual physical injury that occurred during the course and scope of employment. However, if you are a First Responder under Florida Statutes then the mental or nervous injury does not need to be associated with a physical accident or injury.

This was an extremely important and needed addition to the law that went into effect in October 2018.

If I quit my job because I do not feel I am able to perform, will I still receive medical benefits?

This is a question that we hear quite frequently. The short answer is that if you are injured on the job in Florida and are getting workers' compensation benefits, you are not locked into your current employment. Regardless of your employment status, working, not working, found a different job, or are not physically able to perform your prior job, your medical benefits are legally supposed to continue with your workers' compensation carrier.

From a lost wages standpoint, the reasonable basis behind your decision to quit your job comes into play and whether the carrier would be responsible for paying for your wages while you are still receiving workers' compensation medical care.

What to consider before your child attends a pool party

Pool parties are great fun for kids of all ages, and it's likely that your child will be invited to several pool parties in Florida to celebrate the birthdays of friends. Swimming is a great way for children to engage in a fun form of exercise while learning an important skill. However, swimming pools can present certain hazards, and you should be aware of these before your child attends their first pool party.

When your child is on other premises such as the home of a friend, the owner of that premises generally has the responsibility to keep the kids safe. However, as a parent, you should exercise caution and ensure that your child will be cared for adequately. If an accident does occur on the premises, you will most likely be able to hold the premises owner responsible. But it is always best to carry out preventative measures to ensure your child's safety.

Can I take action if my child was injured while trespassing?

Generally speaking, when a person is trespassing on a property and injures themselves as a result, they do not have the right to make a premises liability claim. This is because the owner does not have the responsibility to make a property or piece of land safe for visitors if it is not accessible by the public.

However, like every rule, there are exceptions. In regard to premises liability law and trespassing, there are many exceptions to this general rule. One of these exceptions applies to children. Children, of course, do not have a clear understanding of what trespassing is, especially if they are younger in age. Therefore, all landowners should be aware of the possibility of children to trespass on their property. As a result of the awareness of this risk, they have the responsibility to react accordingly.

The potential prognoses of a traumatic brain injury

One injury that, unfortunately, commonly occurs after a severe car accident is a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of an impact to the head, and the greater force of the impact, the more severe the injury is likely to be.

If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car accident in Florida, you will certainly be very concerned for their well-being and will wonder what the likely prognosis will be for their injury. In addition, you may be wondering whether the responsible driver will be held accountable for causing such life-changing injuries, and how damages should be sought.

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