In addition to car accident victims, I represent a number of the injured working men and women of Florida. They were hurt while they were working! They weren’t panhandling at the bus station. They weren’t on unemployment compensation or welfare. They were working, supporting themselves and their family, paying taxes and doing all or most of the things that we admire in America. When they were working, they were respected by their families, friends and co-workers and they had high self-esteem. Injured workers have the same hopes and dreams that most of us have…..providing the basic necessities for their family, educating their children and having a decent quality of life. It’s America’s promise and it’s available to all who work for it.
When you think about it, there are some similarities between people injured at work and people injured in the military service. They were exposed to risks at work and they were injured in the line of duty to their families and their country. And consequently, they deserve good and timely medical treatment and disability benefits to live on while they are out of work, getting better and getting back to work, if possible. And 95% of the injured workers who come to me say: “I didn’t want to get hurt, but once I did, I just wanted to get well and get back to work, but…” Yes, there is a small percentage of workers claiming phony or questionable injuries to take advantage of the system, but we do a grave injustice to the other 95% of genuinely injured workers by painting them with the broad brush of “lazy freeloader” and other such terms that don’t apply to them. There is also a small percentage of Amercian men and women in the military service who get Dishonorable Discharges for irresponsible conduct, but we don’t stereotype the other 95% of American soldiers with “lazy freeloader” or other derogatory labels. In fact, we hold them in high regard…and we should.
So in the future, when you hear someone snidely remark, “Yeah, he’s on Worker’s Compensation…,” don’t jump to any easy, thoughtless conclusions. So was the power company lineman that I represented who lost both his arms in an electrocution accident at work. The good, honest, injured working men and women of Florida deserve better.