Florida’s First District Court of Appeals has overturned a judge’s denial of a repetitive use injury workers’ compensation claim. In Caceres v. Sedano’s Supermarkets, a grocery store employee filed a workers’ compensation claim for repetitive trauma injuries he allegedly sustained while on the job several years earlier. A Judge of Compensation Claims denied the man’s claim without considering the extent of his harm because the judge determined that the man filed his claim too late to recover. The worker then appealed his case to Florida’s First District.
According to the appeals court, Florida law requires that an injured worker inform his or her employer of a workplace injury within 30 days of the date of the injury or the initial manifestation of the harm. The Court of Appeals stated that this statutory period normally begins to run on the date of last exposure in cases of repetitive harm. Next, Florida’s First District found that the Judge of Compensation Claims misinterpreted the statute when he ruled that the supermarket worker filed his claim too late without considering any evidence related to the date, cause, or extent of the worker’s alleged harm. Instead, the judge apparently read Section 440.185(1) of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Statute too narrowly when he summarily denied the man’s request for benefits because more than 30 days had passed since the purported injury had occurred. Since there was insufficient information with which to examine whether the man’s workers’ compensation claim was filed in a timely manner, the appellate court reversed the judge’s order and remanded the case for further consideration.
In Florida, individuals who are hurt at work are generally entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. Employees who suffered harm while on the job may be entitled to collect lost wages, temporary and permanent disability benefits, and medical expenses. Certain relatives of someone who was killed in a tragic workplace accident may also be entitled to collect funeral costs and other compensation. In some cases, a person who was hurt at work may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, such as a defective equipment manufacturer, who was somehow partially responsible for a worker’s injury. Regardless of the type of harm suffered, it is vital for an injured employee to file his or her workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner.
The amount of damages an injured Florida worker may collect will vary based on the facts of each case. If you were hurt at work, you should contact a skilled Miami workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your right to recovery in greater detail. To schedule a free confidential consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation advocate, please contact Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. through our website or give us a call today at (305) 448-8585.
Caceres v. Sedano’s Supermarkets, Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 2014
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