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Gainesville Personal Injury Law Blog

Man continues to battle for workers' comp coverage for PTSD

Work-related depression and anxiety is a problem plaguing countless people both in Gainesville and throughout the rest of the country. Yet those who are suffering from it may fear seeking workers' compensation benefits in order to receive the treatment they need out of a concern that such a condition will not be covered. Their fears may be well-founded. When people think of work-related injuries, they may only consider traumatic physical injuries as qualifying for any sort of assistance. The fact that emotional or psychological distress is so difficult to empirically link to one's employment may be what keeps most from considering such conditions as being compensable through workers' compensation

It is that very assumption that an Alabama man has had to battle with in his quest to get his psychological treatment paid for by his company's workers' compensation provider. The man was next to a large electrical circuit breaker that exploded in late 2017. While the incident did indeed leave him with some physical issues that he had to deal with, it was the post-traumatic stress disorder that he was later diagnosed with that proved to be so debilitating. The doctor who was treating him at the time referred him to a neurologist who did indeed recommend that he seek psychiatric treatment. No referral came from either doctor, however, and his treating physician cleared him to return to work. Shortly thereafter, however, he suffered a nervous breakdown and was admitted to a local psychiatric unit for nine days. 

Pembroke Pines man killed in rollover

The decision to pursue legal action following a car accident in Gainesville is a difficult one, and no doubt one that people arrive at without first carefully considering the matter. The term "lawsuit" seemingly implies a sense of unfamiliarity, in that one would certainly only take such action against someone that they did not know. Yet there may indeed be times when car accident victims and their families have to make the difficult decision to seek action against someone they do know (and in many cases, have a strong relationship). Often the circumstances of an accident leave them with little choice. 

Many may underestimate the void left by one who is killed in a car accident. Even if the victim was not another's primary provider, there are no many that will feel their loss and be greatly impacted by it. A local family and their friends are almost certainly feeling it after a young Pembroke Pines man was killed in a car accident. Authorities say that the driver of the car the young man was traveling in lost control on I-10 and was unable to navigate a curb in the interstate. The vehicle overturned and hit a tree. While it was reported that there were multiple passengers in the vehicle, their status was not reported. The driver sustained only minor injuries. 

First vaping death in Florida raises questions about response

The past few months have seen hundreds of cases of lung injuries related to the use of vaping products or e-cigarettes. In some instances, the resulting respiratory distress has been so severe that the patients did not recover. Last week the Centers for Disease Control reported one death in Florida related to vaping. The fatality, the first reported in the state, is one of 12 that have occurred across the country per the CDC's report. 

The problem has become so significant that public health officials have given it a name: vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses. At the end of last month, the CDC issued a warning that vaping could lead to severe pulmonary disease. In early September, the agency took matters a step further in recommending that, while its investigation is ongoing, consumers consider refraining from using e-cigarette products at all. Furthermore, questions still remain as to what action, if any, the state government should take in response to the escalating crisis. 

How can I find a good home contractor?

If you own your home in Florida, there may well come a time when you need or want to hire a contractor to do some work for you. Even the homeowner who is eager to dive into remodeling projects on their own may choose to use a professional for certain jobs. It can be a bit scary to think about how to choose a contractor, especially if you have heard horror stories about people being taken advantage of by contractors who are not completely honest. However, there are steps you can take to avoid falling into this type of situation.

As recommended by Consumer Affairs, one of the first things you should do is to make a short list of contractors who are fully licensed and insured, including carrying workers' compensation insurance. Any contractor who fails to have these things should be off your list immediately.

Eating while driving: A deadly distraction

Nearly every driver has faced the same challenges – desperate to save time and multi-task while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, anything that takes attention from what's going on around the car can ultimately be dangerous to us and other drivers. Distractions can be lumped into numerous categories and while Florida has several laws in place to punish cell phone use, drivers can still be distracted by eating, reading, personal grooming, manipulating a GPS unit, manipulating in-car audio systems and arguing with passengers.

Workers struggle in increasing temperatures

Florida residents enjoy warm weather virtually all year long, making it a popular place for people to vacation and to relocate to from colder climates. However, the sun and heat that brings many enjoyable experiences can also put people who work outside at risk of developing heat-related illnesses. In some extreme situations, workers across the country have even died as a result of these experiences.

USA Today recently reported on this growing problem, made worse at least in part by the earth's rising temperatures due to global warming. This is leading many workers to wonder what rights they have and how they can remain protected and safe at work. Unfortunately, there are not currently any federal laws that outline safety standards for employees as they relate to heat or sun exposure.

Florida expressway closed after fatal collision

As devastating as the effects of a car accident can be for those involved and their families, the consequences can be much more far-reaching. A predawn car crash involving two vehicles on Florida's Sawgrass Expressway earlier this week killed one driver and injured another. Not only that, but a portion of the expressway also remained closed for five hours thereafter due to debris from the crash blocking the southbound lanes. 

Because the crash is still under investigation, authorities could not release any information as to its cause. However, they were able to describe what they found at the scene. They observed one of the vehicles facing east in the center lane after rolling over. Its driver, a 37-year-old woman, escaped the crash with only minor injuries. It is not known whether she went to the hospital or received any medical treatment. The other vehicle had collided with a guardrail, resulting in damage to its front. It had also sustained heavy damage to its rear. Authorities found it facing east in the grass median. Its driver, a 38-year-old woman, did not survive. 

What is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

After learning that a loved one has been involved in an accident in Gainesville, you are likely overjoyed to hear that they have survived. Yet they may not be completely “out of the woods” yet (particularly if they suffered a brain injury). Traumatic brain injuries can be as minor as a concussion (from which line can recover in just a few days) to serious injuries that can leave one in a persistent vegetative state for the rest of their lives. Yet how are you to know what the outcome of your family member or friend’s TBI may be? 

Clinicians use a test known as the Glasgow Coma Scale when treating patients who have suffered TBIs. This test measures the extent of a brain injury by observing a person’s response in the following areas: 

  • Eye-opening
  • Speaking
  • Motor response

Understanding food product recall classifications

Consumers in Gainesville are likely confident that the food products that they purchase at the grocery store or order at a restaurant are completely safe (why else would they be made available for consumption?). Yet the fact that several such products are recalled every year in the U.S. dispels this notion. According to information shared by the United States Department of Agriculture, 125 such recalls were initiated in the U.S. in 2018 alone. 

When one learns that they have consumed a recalled food product, they might reasonably panic thinking that their health has been compromised and their lives could potentially be in danger. While their fears are justified, not every recalled product has the potential to cause serious harm. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration breaks down product recalls into the following three categories: 

  • Class I: These recalls involve products whose consumption presents the potential for serious adverse health consequences or even death
  • Class II: These recalls involve products whose consumption may cause adverse health consequences, yet the effects of which are likely temporary
  • Class III: These recalls involve products whose consumption is unlikely to cause adverse health consequences

Drunk driving still a problem in Florida

If you are like a lot of people in Florida, you look forward to the summer months for all of the celebrations and freedom to be enjoyed at that time of year. However, you are also likely aware that summer holidays and festivities offer yet more opportunities for people to consume alcohol and still make the choice to drive. Drunk drivers continue to plague Florida's roads and highways despite the strict laws and public awareness campaigns.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in each year from 2013 to 2017, alcohol was stated to be a contributing factor in 27% or 28% of all vehicular fatalities statewide. Over that time, the number of lives lost at the hands of drunk drivers rose for three consecutive years between 2013 and 2016 and dropped slightly in 2017 but the 839 deaths that year still exceeded the number of deaths in 2013 by 167.

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Moody, Salzman, Lash & Locigno, Attorneys & Counselors at Law

Moody, Salzman, Lash & Locigno, Attorneys & Counselors at Law
2770 NW 43rd Street
Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32606-7419

Phone: 352-559-8019
Fax: 352-377-2861
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