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What is Wrongful Termination and What Can You Do?

You may or may not know that Florida is an at will employment state. This means that you can leave your job at any time for any reason. It also means that your employer can fire you at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all (so long as it does not violate some specific federal or state law). With these laws in place, it may seem that there is no such thing as wrongful termination. However, even in an at will state, you have rights as to how and when your employment is terminated. Here’s what wrongful termination is and what you can do about it.

whistleblower

Definition of Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination is the type of case that you have against an employer if they fired you for a federally protected reason. For example, if your employer fires you based on any type of discrimination such as gender, religion, sexuality, or race, you will have a wrongful termination case. You may also have a wrongful termination case if your employer fires you after you blew the whistle on their unethical or illegal activities, either as a company or from specific individuals within the company.

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3 Common Injuries from Auto Accidents

Auto accidents happen frequently in America. In fact, there are about six million car accidents every year in the United States. With so many accidents happening all around us, it is no wonder that there are some injuries that are the most common in these types of accidents. Here are the three most common types of injuries that result from car accidents.

Whiplash / Spinal Injuries

Whiplash is the most common injury related to car accidents. Whiplash occurs when your body is thrown forward against your seat belt. While the seat belt prevents you from going through the windshield, it does not stop the force that drives your body forward upon impact. Often people with whiplash also have injuries from their seat belt itself, or from the air bags deploying.

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What Not to Say at the Scene of an Auto Accident

When you have an auto accident, there is usually an at-fault party. If someone else is responsible for the accident, you want to make sure that you protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and property damage. To protect yourself, you must be very careful about what you do at the scene of the accident. One of the things you need to pay attention to is what you say. Here are a few things that many people say at auto accidents that can ruin your case.

image of car crash with emergency responders

I’m Sorry

You should never apologize or say the words “I’m sorry” to anyone involved in the accident, including witnesses. Even if you are only saying that you are sorry someone is hurt because you are being empathetic, this can be held against you later. If you apologize or show empathy, it could be argued later that you admitted fault.

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Why You Should Have an Attorney to Negotiate with Insurance Companies

Whether your personal injury case involves a slip and fall accident, an auto accident, a motorcycle accident, or a construction accident, more than likely there will be an insurance company involved. There are several reasons you should not try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own. It is always best to have an attorney.

stock photo of insurance claim form

Looking Out for Number One

Insurance companies are only looking out for themselves. They want to pay out as little as possible, because providing settlement checks cuts into their profits. While they are obligated to provide compensation, they are going to do everything they can to pay as little as possible. They will likely offer you a very quick settlement if you are willing to take their initial offer. This initial offer is usually much lower than the compensation that you are actually entitled to. Instead of taking whatever the insurance company offers, it is important to consult with an attorney and allow them to negotiate on your behalf.

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Proving Wrongful Termination: What You Need to Know

If you have been fired or forced to quit your job, you may be wondering what recourse, if any, you may have. Florida is an at-will employment state, which means your employer can fire you at any time for almost any reason, or no reason at all. This does not mean that wrongful termination can’t occur. There are some instances which constitute wrongful termination, but proving it can sometimes be difficult.

What is Wrongful Termination?

Wrongful termination usually occurs when someone is fired in a discriminatory way. It may also be wrongful termination if you were fired in retaliation for making a complaint with the company or authorities, either of business practices or something personal like sexual harassment. An employer cannot fire you for these reasons. While an employer is not likely to say that they fired you for those reasons, they are usually apparent with some investigation.

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Spring Hazards: What to Do in a Motorcycle Accident

Spring is here, and with the warmer weather and clear skies comes the perfect time for riding your motorcycle. Spring brings with it some hazards for bikers as well. Unmarked and unrepaired potholes are frequent after the winter months, and can cause accidents for motorcyclists. With the warmer weather also come inattentive drivers, rain storms, and other hazards. In addition to being on your guard to avoid accidents, it is important to know what to do if disaster strikes.

At the Scene

It is important to get as much information as you can while at the scene of the accident. Getting the contact and vehicle information for other drivers involved in the accident is important. You should also get contact information for any witnesses. Take photos of the scene of the accident, the vehicles and bike involved, and any environmental factors that may have led to the accident. If you are unable to gather this information due to severe injuries, much of the information will be available on the police report.

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What You Need to Know About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment happens much more frequently than you might think. Many people believe that sexual harassment in the workplace amounts to someone touching you or propositioning you in a way that you do not find comfortable. In reality, sexual harassment equates to much more than that. You may also think that there is little you can do about sexual harassment in the workplace, but you do have some options.

Image of woman being harassed at work

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can come in many forms. If someone touches you without your permission, that is blatant sexual harassment. If someone tries to get you to go on a date with them and ties it to your performance or job in any way, that is also sexual harassment. Yet sexual harassment can be much more subtle. It could simply be untoward or offensive remarks, discrimination based on your gender, or uncomfortable talk about sexual topics.

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Why You Should Not Sign Anything Without an Attorney

When you have a legal case that could result in compensation, it is important that you never sign anything without first speaking with an attorney. Regardless of the type of case you are facing, once you sign on the dotted line of a settlement or insurance claim, you will not be able to get any additional compensation down the road.

A Lawyer talking to two clients

Personal Injury Settlements

If you have been injured on someone’s property, by a product, on the job, or due to someone’s negligence, you may be asked to sign something stating that the property owner or party is not liable for your medical costs, and that you will not sue. Once you sign such a statement, your ability to receive compensation is gone. Sometimes you may be asked to sign such a statement while receiving a small check for your medical expenses. Before signing anything or cashing the check, contact an attorney to make sure that the settlement is fair and equitable.

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Key Signs You Are Facing Discrimination on the Job

Employment discrimination is not always obvious. Most companies have a workplace diversity policy in place, and managers must at least appear to be following it. In spite of this, managers still discriminate against protected classes in more subtle ways that can be harder to prove. They may do this to make you appear incompetent to uphold their view of your protected class, or they may be trying to make you quit in frustration. Either way, these signs of discrimination of the job should not be ignored.

Photo of a man aggressively speaking to a upset female employee

You Are Asked Questions Unrelated to the Job

Employment discrimination often begins during the interview and onboarding process. You may be asked questions that do not pertain to your ability to do the job. For example, a woman may be asked if she has adequate child care for her children in order to minimize absences. Other inappropriate questions may revolve around religious beliefs, after work activities, or other lifestyle choices. Whether or not they could affect scheduling, these questions are not appropriate, and are the first sign of employment discrimination.

Assignment of Impossible or Demeaning Duties

As your time in the company continues, you may notice that you are being assigned all of the tasks that no one else wants. These tasks are usually ones in which you are not able to use or prove your skills and talents. They are designed to keep you in the background of the company, not allowing you to shine in any way.

Alternatively, you may be given work assignments that have impossible deadlines, or are themselves impossible. This is usually done to try to prove that you are incompetent. Such tactics are often used to try to lay the groundwork for termination. If you notice that your work assignments are not comparable to those of your coworkers, chances are it is discrimination.

Demeaning Talk and Inappropriate Remarks

One of the more obvious signs of employment discrimination is demeaning or belittling talk from your coworkers or managers. If your manager is always condescending in manner, it could be a sign of discrimination. Inappropriate jokes and remarks about your religion, gender, sexual orientation, or race also constitute discrimination.

If you have been the victim of employment discrimination, you do not have to suffer in silence. Contact an attorney immediately to protect yourself and your job. We can assist you with any employment discrimination in Florida. Simply contact our offices for a consultation.

Whose Fault is a Slip and Fall? Getting Compensation

Proving fault in a slip and fall case can sometimes be difficult. Both the property owner and accident victim have a responsibility to ensure safety. Negligence can be alleged on either side, and the determining factor of who is at fault, and to what extent, will have a direct impact on the compensation you could receive for your injuries.

Point of view photo of an EMT assessing man on a gurney

The Property Owner’s Liability

The property owner has a responsibility to provide a safe environment to the best of their ability. This does not mean that any hazards are automatically due to the negligence or liability of the property owner. In order to get compensation from the property owner for a slip and fall accident, you have to prove that they were at fault.

This usually means one of three things. The property owner, his employee, or his contractor should have known about and responded to the hazard, because a reasonable person would know that there was a hazard to be addressed. Reasonableness in itself can be difficult to prove in some cases. The second thing it could mean is that the property owner or their representative knew about the hazard and did nothing to correct it. This proves direct negligence. Finally, it may mean that the property owner or their representative caused the hazard that led to the accident.

If you can prove negligence and liability through one of these three methods, you will be able to get at least some compensation for your claim. There are some other factors that could be considered as well that could affect your claim.

Your Responsibility and Negligence

Every individual has a responsibility to keep themselves safe. If signs indicating a hazard are placed in the area and you do not notice them because you are not aware of your surroundings, this is negligence on your part. You could also be found to have contributed to the accident through comparative negligence if you were talking on your cell phone or otherwise distracted when the accident occurred. Again, the reasonableness test comes into play. Would a reasonable and appropriately cautious person have had the accident?

If you are found to have contributed to the accident, your compensation could be at risk. The judge or jury can assign a percentage to how much your negligence contributed to the accident, and reduce your compensation by that percentage. To protect yourself and ensure you are fully compensated, you should always consult an attorney for a slip and fall case in Florida. Contact us today for a consultation.