10 Do’s and Don’ts regarding Deposition Testimony As Claimant attorneys are scheduling more witness depositions throughout the course of litigation, we wanted to forward this refresher on deposition testimony. 1. Do not volunteer information. Answer only the question that is being asked. No matter how much your answer may assist the case, do not expand…

Employers and their workers compensation carriers have been hit with two major blows as a result of a decision from the first District Court of Appeals in Miles v. City of Edgewater Police Department and a decision from the Florida Supreme Court in Castellanos v. Next Door Company. Both of these cases deal with different…

The readers of this blog should be well aware of the litigation-intensive nature of our society and the importance of appropriate, adequate insurance to cover personal and commercial risk. We generally update you on insurance-related issues affecting the workers’ compensation industry, but this column relates more to personal risk coverage. We all have automobile insurance…

Like other forms of civil litigation, the majority of workers’ compensation claims settle short of trial. Even claims that have been tried and appealed on multiple occasions tend to settle via lump sum at some point. Settlement of a claim is comprised of 2 major elements: settlement of future wage loss/indemnity benefits and settlement of…

The First DCA recently rejected an appeal where the claimant argued that service of a Petition for Benefits on an EC compelled the employer/carrier to act, even though the PFB was not filed with DOAH until much later. Elms v. Castle Construction, (Fla. 1st DCA, Oct. 10, 2014). This author tried the case before Judge…

Lawsuits under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are on the rise, as recently reported in the Wall Street Journal. The FMLA law is a federal statute which allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for medical and family reasons. An employer is prohibited from taking any adverse employment…

Every adjuster has received that e-mail or fax from a claimant’s attorney with a whopping emergency room bill. Had the claimant waited a few more days and simply gone to their authorized provider, the carrier would only be on the hook for a simple follow-up visit, as opposed to the hospital bill which often multiplies…

The problematic request for a one-time change in treating physician can severely impact a case if not handled properly. As new case law continues to modify the acceptable manner of appropriately and timely responding to these requests, adjusters have greater burdens in appropriately responding. Below are some tips to help preserve the EC’s right to…

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, beware of claimant lawyers using the Hinzman case to secure authorization of undesirable physicians. In February 2013, the First DCA issued its opinion in Hinzman v. Winter Haven Facility Operations. This case holds that the 5 day rule pertaining to the claimant’s one-time change in treating physicians is 5 consecutive…

Changes in the Florida Workers’ Compensation Law implemented in 1994 provide employer/carriers with a powerful investigative tool. Section 440.13(4)(c), Florida Statutes, was amended as follows: [U]pon the request of the employer, the carrier, an authorized qualified rehabilitation provider, or the attorney for the employer or carrier, the medical records, reports, and information of an injured…

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