Is Florida Deporting Undocumented Immigrants Who File Workers Comp?

Generally, all injured workers whose employer has workers’ compensation or is required by the state to have workers’ comp insurance have the right to file a claim after being hurt on the job. All states allow this, as the states know that whether they like it or not, undocumented immigrants are an important part of the United States economy. Many employers, whether right or wrong, rely on this labor in the hospitality industry, the restaurant industry, the construction industry and more. No matter how someone feels about this reality, states recognize that it is essential for an injured person to have access to medical treatment and a portion of lost wages after a job accident. However, Florida immigrants are facing a large problem due to a loophole in this law that is allowing police officers to use the workers’ comp filing against them for deportment proceedings.

In the Florida workers’ comp law, it is a crime to file a claim using a false identification. Insurance companies that review workers’ comp claims have actually been turning people into the police to avoid having to pay out workers’ comp benefits. This is not only terrible for the employee, who is already injured and will have other difficulties, but the employer, who has lost an employee and the economy as a whole. Further, many of these immigrants have their own families in this country that they support through their employment. Deportation of the breadwinner will seriously harm these remaining family members, who may fall into poverty and then become even more dependent on the states for assistance.

Undocumented workers and immigrants already have enough to fear in today’s political climate without having to further worry about being deported after being seriously injured at work. Anyone injured at work, whether a citizen, resident, work permit holder or undocumented immigrant should always speak to a lawyer after being hurt. A consultation with a lawyer is 100% confidential, and the attorney can guide the person towards their best options moving forward.

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What Does the Medical Community’s Resistance to Change Mean for Medical Malpractice?

From a both a medical and societal perspective, change has long been needed in the medical community. Still, the medical community seems as resistant as ever to implementing innovative safety measures. Below we will look at some startling medical malpractice statistics.

The Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization that accredits more than 20,000 healthcare organizations, showed that:

  • Only 33 percent of the 3,300 Joint Commission-accredit hospitals have achieved what the organization calls its “top performer” rating.
  • Around 2,400 hospitals operating in the U.S. are not even accredited.
  • Around 98,000 people die in hospitals each year because of avoidable errors.
  • Each year, around 300,000 people are injured in hospitals because of avoidable errors.

Formal complaints have gone unheeded, even by formidable figures in the medical community. Until hospitals and medical associations take it upon themselves to implement changes, medical malpractice suits are the only remedy that victims have in our civil system.

Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area

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Does Medical Malpractice Mean That a Physician Should Lose Their License?

Sometimes physicians that are charged with medical malpractice should lose their licenses, but each scenario is complicated and merits its own individual assessment.

In recent news, The Florida Board of Medicine had trouble deciding whether to take Peter V. Choy’s license away. Choy was found guilty of making fraudulent representations, failing to keep proper medical records, committing medical malpractice and concealing material facts in the 2010 case of a patient that died under his watch after developing pancreatic cancer.

Choy never made any notes of the tumor in the patient’s medical records, and he did not provide her with a specialist referral. The malignant mass had been revealed to Choy some two years earlier.

The Board of Medicine initially voted to revoke Choy’s license, then reversed that decision, citing his forty years of work and clean disciplinary record.

However, Choy had been disciplined multiple times and cited for health insurer fraud in other states; Choy even lost his medical license in another state.

This incident represents a sad reality for some patients in Florida, with the victim’s son stating, “There’s no integrity. The system failed me.”

Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area

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Should You Be Able to Request a Healthcare Provider’s Adverse Medical Incidents?

As a patient, it is important to understand that you are entitled to know about your healthcare providers’ adverse medical incidents. This issue was discussed by the Florida Supreme Court in Ampuero-Martinez, etc., v. Cedars Healthcare Group, etc., et al., Nos. SC11-2208, SC11-2336 (Fla. January 30, 2014).

The victim’s daughter initiated a wrongful death suit, on behalf of her father, after he died while a patient at a facility operated by the healthcare provider. After the daughter initiated the suit, she sought records of other adverse medical incidents that the facility had on file, but was rebuffed by the facility when they refused to turn over documents to her.

The Florida Supreme Court looked at the Constitution of Florida in deciding that she the daughter did have a right to the medical records as she was representing her deceased father in a wrongful death suit. The same would apply for someone seeking their own records, guardians of individuals, and parents.


Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area

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Does Medical Malpractice Apply to Doctors Treating Depression?

Photo of a doctorThe case of Robert Granicz v. Joseph S. Chirillo, Jr., et al., Case No. 2D12-5244 (Fla. Dist. App. Feb. 19, 2014) showed that in certain cases doctors can be held liable for medical malpractice when treating depression.

A female patient that had a history of depression stopped taking her prescribed antidepressants due to the side effects that she was experiencing. She eventually called her physician’s office to communicate that she had not felt right since she ceased taking her antidepressants.

The physician simply decided to switch her antidepressants as a remedy to the situation. Unfortunately, the next day she hung herself in her family’s garage. Her family pursued a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and though initially the claim was dismissed, the family was eventually successful as the court of appeals level. In the ruling, the court of appeals iterated that the physician did have a duty of care to the woman, and a jury would need to decide the proximate cause and damage elements of medical malpractice. The case was then sent back to the lower court to comply with the court of appeal’s ruling.


Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area

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Car Crashes into Sarasota Home, Kills Sleeping Woman

A Sarasota woman was killed in her home on April 19 when someone crashed a stolen car into her bedroom as she was sleeping.

According to NBC News, Jakeilah Weeks, 24, is now facing charges after a domestic altercation with her ex-boyfriend led to the deadly accident, which took place around 3:30 a.m. Prior to the accident, Weeks reportedly attempted to break into her ex-boyfriend’s home and police were called.

Weeks then reportedly jumped into her ex-boyfriend’s car and sped away. As officers were pursuing her, she crashed the car into the bedroom wall of the nearby home of Eleanor Ball, 62, who was sleeping at the time. Ball was killed instantly.

Weeks was charged with two counts of battery, vehicular homicide and manslaughter, property theft, burglary, and obstruction of justice and of property.

If you have a loved one killed in a car accident involving a negligent driver, you should pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

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Four Killed In Plant City, Florida Car Accident

Four people were killed in a Plant City car accident on March 28, according to WWSB-TV.

The station reported that 31-year-old Rolando Silva lost control of his 2006 BMW and crashed head-on into a Cadillac driven by 26-year-old Joseph Vizcarrondo.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Silva, Vizcarrondo and two passengers in the Cadillac died at the scene of the crash. In addition, also confirmed dead in the crash was 19-year-old Lauren Phillips. The names of the other passengers were not made public.

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Vehicle Drives Through Wall of Florida Church, Injuring 21 People

According to ABC News, a car slammed into a packed Florida church just as its annual Easter concert was about to begin, injuring 21 people as it barreled through the brick outer wall and several rows of pews.

Police officials said a Lexus sedan struck the Second Haitian Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Florida around 8 p.m. on April 20, when there were about 200 people inside. When officers arrived at the scene, church members were using car jacks to lift the vehicle off of people who were trapped underneath.

The driver, a young woman, told investigators that she was looking for a parking spot when the car malfunctioned and it drove “straight into the building,” adding that the car’s brakes malfunctioned.

According to a Lee Memorial Health System spokesperson, the almost two dozen injured people were taken to Lee County hospitals.

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Security Guard Allegedly Attacks Residents Florida Nursing Home

A man was arrested recently and accused of beating two assisted living facility residents in Spring Hill, Florida, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Part-time security guard Brian Christopher Murphy, 22, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an alleged attack on residents.

Murphy allegedly used a tire jack to break “most of the bones” in the faces of two residents at the Atria Evergreen Woods assisted living facility, according to the Times.

Nursing home abuse is unacceptable— if you suspect that your loved one is suffering from inadequate care or abuse, there are several signs you can look for, including unusual bruising or bleeding, bedsores or cuts and infections.

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Is Fluorescein Angiography Better that RetCam Imaging for ROP?

A picture of an injured babyThe American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) met this month in California for its annual conference. At the conference, many doctors presented their findings on bettering the treatment  and measures taken to prevent blindness in premature babies affected by retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

One study, presented by pediatric ophthalmologist Luxme Hariharan, focused on the possible benefits a new procedure may have for screening and monitoring ROP progression in infants. Photographs taken with fluorescein angiography would supplement traditional “fundography” systems, such as RetCam images, but would not replace the need for good clinical exams.

The study found that while some pictures of the retina taken with a RetCam are “hazy and [do] not show the distinct nature of the enhanced vasculature,” images taken using fluorescein angiography were able to show even the slightest of ROP blood vessel changes. This procedure involves injecting newborns with fluorescein dye before taking the images. However, doctors may find the administering the fluorescein angiography procedure has a bit of a learning curve.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia doctor Graham E. Quinn, who commented on the use of fluorescein angiography in a Medscape Medical News article, commented that “good imaging [using fluorescein angiography] is a skill that must be practiced many times” and that the procedure itself is “not an easy thing; it’s a bit intimidating.”

Sponsored by Shapiro Law Group, located in Bradenton, Florida

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