Florida Appeals Court States Evidence Code Applies to Workers’ Compensation Cases

In Perry v. City of St. Petersburg, an employee who was purportedly injured at work filed a workers’ compensation claim. In her request, the woman sought benefits related to the medical care she required following the on-the-job incident. At a hearing on the matter, a Judge of Compensation Claims (“JCC”) denied the woman’s request to admit the expert opinion of her employer’s independent doctor. In response, the worker sought to challenge the JCC’s denial under Section 90.702 of the Florida Statutes.

According to Section 90.702, technical, scientific, or other expert testimony may be admitted as evidence if it is based on sufficient facts and utilizes reliable methods. The JCC responded by ruling that he was not obligated to address the woman’s evidentiary challenge. After that, the worker filed an appeal with Florida’s First District Court of Appeal.

On appeal, the court stated it was well established that the Florida Code of Evidence applies to workers’ compensation cases brought in the state. In addition, the court said 2013 amendments to Section 90.702 adopted the admissibility test outlined in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Daubert. Additionally, the First District said it held that a treating surgeon’s expert opinion must be considered in another workers’ compensation case based on the language included in the 2013 statutory amendments.

Since the JCC committed error when he refused to apply the evidentiary standard enumerated in Section 90.702 to the injured employee’s workers’ compensation claim, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal reversed the JCC’s decision and remanded the case. The court also instructed the JCC to apply the evidentiary test included in the statute to the physician’s expert testimony in order to determine its admissibility.

In Florida, employees who were injured at work may be entitled to receive payment for their medical expenses, permanent or temporary total disability, partial disability, and other related expenses. Unfortunately, injured employees like the claimant in this case often find themselves fighting their employer’s insurer in order to receive necessary health care following an accident at work.

Florida workers’ compensation laws are complicated and change frequently. The benefits that are available to an employee who was hurt in Florida can vary greatly based on the extent of the worker’s harm. If you have questions about your right to receive compensation following a workplace accident injury, an experienced Miami workers’ compensation lawyer can help.

If you were denied medical benefits or other benefits following an on-the-job accident in South Florida, you are advised to discuss your rights with a hardworking Miami personal injury attorney as soon as you are able. To speak with a caring Florida workers’ compensation lawyer today, call the dedicated advocates at Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. at (305) 448-8585 or contact us through our website.

Additional Resources:

Perry v. City of St. Petersburg, Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. 2015

More Blog Posts:

Volusia County Correctional Officer May be Entitled to Recover Workers’ Compensation Disability Benefits for Heart Disease, August 6, 2015, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

Equitable Subrogation Question Certified to Florida Supreme Court in Personal Injury Case, August 3, 2015, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog

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