Wills Largo

Benjamin A. Winter, P.A.

-Workers Compensation

Even in the best of situations, the Florida Workers Compensation Law is complicated and difficult to manage.  The workers compensation law requires that an employer provide medical care and lost wages for an injured employee.  However, the Florida legislature has also made it more difficult for an employee to obtain these same lost wages and medical treatment.  The workers compensation law requires an injured worker to navigate a number of procedural hurdles as part of bringing a claim.  If you have been injured on the job, it is important to have an experienced professional available to answer questions and guide you through this difficult process.  Mr. Winter is Board Certified in workers compensation.  Less than 1% of all Florida attorneys have achieved that recognition.

The first hurdle after a work-related accident is that the accident must be “timely reported.”  This does not mean it must be reported immediately, instead you must tell your employer about the injury within 30 days of the accident.  It is important that an injured worker request that a Notice of Injury be completed by the employer.  Despite this 30 day grace period, the earlier the injury is reported, the smoother the claim is likely to go.

workers compensation St Petersburg

Once an injury is reported, an employer is supposed to provide medical care to the injured worker.  This medical care is supposed to be provided as long as it is medically necessary and the major contributing cause of the need for treatment is the injury.  However, the employer will generally be able to choose the doctor the injured worker may see.  In order for the treatment to be paid for, the injured worker must generally see the “authorized” doctor offered by the employer.  As the injured employee, you do have the right to a one-time change in doctor, but again that doctor may be chosen by the employer.   

In addition to medical treatment, an injured worker who is not able to work or is given a restriction on his or her ability to work may be eligible for indemnity (or money) benefits.  These benefits are meant as a partial replacement for the employees lost wages and are generally paid at 60% or 66 2/3% of the workers wages. 

The key words in the above paragraph are “should” and “may”.  If you feel that you have not been provided with medical or money benefits, or if you have questions about this process, the advice of a professional is vital in navigating the workers compensation process.  This is especially true when the insurance company has denied benefits to you, the injured worker.  We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your legal needs.

-Personal Injury

The time following an injury can be emotional and confusing.  In addition to dealing with an injury and damage to you property, you may be pressured by the insurance company to settle or release them from any further claims.  However, if you are injured due to another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to additional compensation for your injuries and payment of your medical bills.  

Under Florida Law, all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance.  This provides for payment of medical bills (at an 80% rate) and lost wages due to an automobile accident up to a $10,000 limit.  In order to compensate you for damages above $10,000, including lost wages, medical expenses and your pain and suffering, an injured driver must generally satisfy a Limitation on Lawsuit Threshold.  This threshold requires either: 1) death; 2) dismemberment; 3) significant disfigurement or scarring; or 4) a “permanent injury”.  “Permanent injury” is defined as a body part or organ that has not healed to normal function and will not heal to normal function with further medical care.  This determination can generally only be made by a licensed medical professional.

The insurance company has experienced people working for them in their handling of the claim.  It only makes sense that you would also have an experienced guide through this difficult time.  If you don’t recover any financial award, we do not collect any attorney’s fees.  We strive to maximize your recovery, and look forward to hearing from you.   


-Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability is designed as a safety net for those who are no longer able to work because of disability.  However, the Social Security Disablity process can be long and complicated.  The Social Security Administration utilizes a 5 step process to determine whether a person is disabled.  This process includes many potential issues and lots of confusing terminology.  There are many factors which may play a part in whether you qualify for disability.  These factors include your medical diagnosis, age, education and work history.  Of these factors, the most important is your medical condition/diagnosis and the limitations it causes you.  As a result, if you are receiving treatment for your injury or illness, it is important that you tell your doctor how the condition is limiting you.    

The Social Security Disability process can (literally) take years.  Furthermore, the vast majority of applicants are not accepted on their initial application.  As a result, an initial denial does not mean that you will not eventually be recognized as disabled.  An initial denial simply means that your claim will have to proceed beyond that initial step.  It is important to have a professional helping you to navigate this long, confusing process.  We look forward to hearing from you and helping you in this process.

-Wills, Trusts and Estates

Peace of mind is an elusive goal.  When looking toward the future, an up-to-date will and trust can provide certainty in an otherwise uncertain time. 

Why do I need a will?            If a person dies intestate (without a will), the property will be distributed through the probate process according to a scheme made by the Florida Legislature.  Your property will be split up based upon a formula set forth by the statute.  A will gives you the ability to control distribution of the property that you have worked hard to obtain.  Even more importantly, it gives you the ability to control where your children live in the event of an untimely death. 

Do I need a trust?  A trust can be useful in reaching one or more of several goals.  First, a trust can provide tax advantages.  A trust may also streamline or eliminate the Probate process.  In addition, a trust may provide asset protection.  Finally, a trust can set limits on the spending of assets after your passing to make sure that your family members are provided for after a death.  

What is a living will?  A living will is a legal document that makes clear your wishes for life sustaining measures and care in the event you are unable to make those decisions due to illness or incapacity.  Also known as advance directives, a living will can be combined with a durable power of attorney to express your wishes and appoint a trusted person to make these decisions on your behalf.

There is no “one size fits all” solution to estate planning.  As a result, it is important to have the help of a professional in determining the appropriate (and most efficient) planning tools for an individual or family.  We look forward to hearing from you regarding your planning needs. 


-Real Estate

            The purchase of real property is the largest single purchase most people will ever make.   Whether it is the purchase of a primary residence, second home or investment property, the advice of an attorney can be invaluable in steering you through potential issues from contract to closing during this life-changing process. 

Of course, in the current difficult economy, many people are now being faced with difficult decisions about their home.  The Tampa Bay area has been especially hard hit by foreclosures.  However, there are potential options for a home-owner who is in danger of losing their home.  There are programs provided by lenders as well as government sponsored programs such as which may provide assistance.  A professional can help guide you through these options in this most difficult of times. We look forward to hearing from you regarding your real estate questions and legal needs.


-Business Law

            As a business owner, nearly every day involves a contract or agreement with customers, vendors or other businesses.  In making these agreements, the help of an attorney can be invaluable protecting your business and in avoiding problems down the road. 

Of course, it is nearly inevitable that your business will be involved in a legal dispute.    When a dispute arises, it is necessary to have aggressive, quality representation for your business.  Ben strives to provide proactive solutions to help avoid, and when necessary, efficiently bring to a close, any dispute that may arise.



Ben is a Certified Circuit Civil Mediator who is available for mediation in all Civil and Workers Compensation matters.  In addition, Ben is a trained Residential Foreclosure mediator and is available to serve as a Mediator in cases involving real estate and/or foreclosure issues.

Our practice provide services in Clearwater, Indian Shores, Largo, Pinellas Park, Seminole, St Petersburg, St Pete Beach, Treasure Island and the Tampa bay Area.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask me to send you free written information about my qualifications and experience.


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