Construction Accident Attorney in Florida
Florida has vast experience with construction site accidents. As condominiums are constantly being built in the Sunshine state, construction site safety is more important than ever. Construction workers face a substantially greater risk of occupational injuries compared to other industries. Construction injuries, such as falls from a ladder or scaffolding, can cause serious, and possibly fatal injuries.
If you were injured in a Florida construction site accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and obtain compensation for your injuries and overall damages. The Florida construction accident attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience successfully representing clients injured in various accidents, including ones that take place at construction sites. Our attorneys are here to answer any questions you may have about filing a construction injury lawsuit. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations.
Types of Construction Site Injuries
Owners, contractors, workers, and all other parties involved in a construction project must implement proper safety measures and take precautions to avoid construction injuries. Examples of construction site injuries include:
- Falls from scaffolding
- Falls from roofs or ladders
- Injuries from falling debris
- Injuries involving heavy machinery or equipment such as cranes, forklifts or bulldozers
Working on a construction site is inherently dangerous. Construction work often requires working at elevated heights, using ladders and scaffolding. Without the appropriate safety devices, workers can suffer from life-threatening falls. Construction workers are also constantly exposed to various, potentially hazardous substances during the construction process. Additionally, faulty equipment can cause serious injuries.
Florida experiences a high number of construction accidents. The state had a total of 158 fatal occupational injuries among construction contractors between 2011 and 2013. In 2013, 23 construction deaths in the state were caused by slips and trips; 11 were caused by transportation incidents, 9 resulted from toxic exposure and 7 involved contact with objects and equipment.
In October 2016, NBC Miami reported that scaffolding fell from a luxury high-rise building near Southeast 14th Lane and Brickell Avenue. One person died and at least four were hurt in the Miami scaffolding accident. The building is a 60-floor condominium.
In January 2017, a deadly construction accident killed three workers in Key Largo. Reportedly, the workers went under a newly paved road to determine why it was settling, and became trapped. Officials say the workers were likely killed by exposure to methane and hydrogen sulfite gas.
According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the “Construction Fatal Four”, which are most common causes of construction fatalities, include:
- Being struck by an object
- Caught in or between hazards
Suing for a Construction Site Injury
Injured construction workers in Florida are generally barred from suing their employers due to the state’s workers’ compensation law, which provides medical benefits and compensation to employees injured in the workplace. This is not limited to the construction industry. When receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you do not have to show negligence.
In Florida, all occupational injuries must be reported to your supervisor within 30 days.
Obtaining compensation for an occupational injury in Florida may be difficult because state laws tend to favor businesses. This may mean that workers have a harder time suing or receiving workers’ compensation benefits. At Parker Waichman, our Florida attorneys have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions you may have about a Florida workplace injury.
Injured construction workers in Florida can still file a personal injury lawsuit if their injury was caused by a third party, such as subcontractor who is not their employer. Examples of third parties who may be liable in a construction accident lawsuit include:
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Maintenance companies
Florida law also includes intentional torts. However, the law essentially requires plaintiffs to show that an employer knew about a dangerous condition (instead of showing they “should have” known). This makes it nearly impossible to prove liability.
OSHA is a federal agency that governs workplace safety. Employers and contractors should be educated about OSHA laws to protect their employees. Construction workers are entitled to a safe workplace; employers are obligated to provide a safe workplace and correct any issues that arise. Construction deaths and serious injuries must be reported to OSHA.
Florida is a pure comparative negligence state when it comes to personal injury liability. This means that damages are proportionally affected depending on who is at fault for the accident. For example, you are a construction employee who was injured on the job. Your employer was found to be 80 percent at fault for your injury and you were found to be 20 percent at fault. In this case, you would collect 20 percent less than if your employer were 100 percent at fault.
Construction accident liability is complex and requires an attorney familiar with state laws and experience in personal injury litigation cases. If you have any questions, contact one of our lawyers today.
Damages in a Construction Accident Lawsuit
Personal injury lawsuits generally require the plaintiff to show that the defendant was negligent, or careless. The defendant must have owed a duty of care to plaintiff, and subsequently failed in this duty. The plaintiff must also show that their injury resulted from this breach of duty, and that the injury resulted in actual damages, such as medical bills.
Construction site injuries can be serious, and require hospital stays, surgery or even lead to permanent disability. Plaintiffs can seek damages for economic damages, including medical bills, including doctors’ visits, hospital bills, surgery, prescriptions and physical rehabilitation. Economic damages also include lost wages; these types of damages can be calculated directly.
Plaintiffs in a personal injury lawsuit can also seek damages for non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, including mental anguish and loss of enjoyment in life.
In cases of construction site deaths due to negligence, a wrongful death claim may be filed on behalf of the surviving family members.
For more information about whether you qualify for a construction accident lawsuit, contact one of our attorneys today.
Filing a Florida Construction Accident Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit involving an accident that occurred in Florida, contact one of our Florida accident attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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