What is Considered a Construction Site Injury?
A construction site injury is any harm or damage a worker suffers while performing tasks related to construction work. These injuries can vary widely in severity, including broken bones, back and spinal cord injuries, burns, chemical exposure illnesses, brain and head injuries, and eye injuries.
Florida Construction Site Injuries
With its booming construction industry and ever-growing infrastructure, Florida witnesses many construction site injuries each year. In Florida, the construction industry consistently ranks among the top industries for occupational fatalities. These injuries can be due to the extensive use of heavy machinery, working at heights, and various other hazardous conditions unique to construction sites in the Sunshine State.
Types of Construction Accident Claims
When injured on a construction site, you may have various avenues to seek compensation, depending on the circumstances of your accident:
Workers’ Compensation Claims
In Florida, the law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to support injured workers financially. Workers’ compensation claims cover medical expenses, wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation, irrespective of fault.
Workers’ compensation is crucial in ensuring injured workers receive immediate financial relief, including medical treatment and a portion of their lost wages. This compensation is a safety net, helping workers recover without financial burden.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If a third party’s negligence, such as a subcontractor or equipment manufacturer, contributed to the accident, the injured worker can file a personal injury lawsuit. These lawsuits allow victims to seek compensation for damages beyond what workers’ compensation covers, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Personal injury lawsuits offer a more comprehensive scope of compensation, encompassing economic and non-economic losses. It’s a legal avenue that helps bridge the gap between immediate medical expenses and long-term recovery.
Product Liability Claims
Construction workers often rely on tools and equipment, and accidents can occur when these items are defective. In such cases, injured workers can file product liability claims against the manufacturers or distributors of the faulty products.
Product liability claims are pivotal in holding manufacturers and distributors accountable for producing and selling defective equipment. By pursuing these claims, injured workers contribute to the safety of their fellow workers and future construction projects.
Wrongful Death Claims
Tragically, some construction accidents result in fatalities. Surviving family members can pursue wrongful death claims against liable parties in such cases. These claims seek compensation for economic and non-economic losses resulting from the death.
Wrongful death claims serve as a lifeline for surviving family members, helping them navigate the emotional and financial challenges of losing a loved one due to a construction accident.
See how Perkins Law has helped families get the compensation they deserve for wrongful death claims.
Most Common Construction Accidents
While construction accidents can take various forms, there are four categories, often referred to as “the fatal four,” that stand out due to their severity:
Falls from heights remain a leading cause of construction accidents in Florida. Along with slips and trips, falls are the second most frequent fatal work event. These accidents underscore the importance of proper fall protection equipment and training.
The use of heavy machinery is prevalent in Florida’s construction industry. Inadequate training and machinery malfunctions contribute to numerous machinery-related accidents, resulting in injuries and fatalities.
Construction often occurs on roadways, and reckless drivers can pose a significant danger to workers in construction zones.
Slips or Trips
Construction sites can be disorganized, leading to tripping hazards for workers.
Common Construction Accident Questions
Here are answers to some common questions you may have if you’ve been injured on a construction site:
Who can I sue if I was injured working at a construction site?
Depending on the circumstances, you may have grounds to sue your employer, a third party, or the manufacturer of faulty equipment.
How much time do I have to seek compensation for my construction accident injuries?
The time you have to start seeking compensation for your construction accident injuries can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case and the type of claim you intend to file:
- Workers’ Compensation Claims: In Florida, you should notify your employer as soon as possible if you were injured while working on a construction site. You typically have up to 30 days to report the injury, but it’s best to do so immediately. Once reported, your employer should provide you with a workers’ compensation claim form. You have up to two years from the accident date to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, acting quickly is essential to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.
- Personal Injury Lawsuits: If you’re considering a personal injury lawsuit against a third party (someone other than your employer), Florida’s statute of limitations typically allows you two years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. Failing to file within this timeframe may result in your case being dismissed.
- Product Liability Claims: If your injury resulted from a defective product or equipment, you typically have two years from the accident date to file a product liability claim.
Please note that these timeframes are subject to change and may vary based on the specifics of your case. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced construction site injury lawyer promptly to ensure you meet all deadlines and protect your rights.
Can I File a Construction Accident Lawsuit?
Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if someone else’s negligence caused your injury.
What damages can I recover in a construction accident?
You can recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering, depending on the circumstances.
Do I Have To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
In most cases, yes, as a construction worker injured on the job in Florida, you are typically required to file a workers’ compensation claim. Florida’s workers’ compensation laws mandate that construction contractors carry insurance to cover the losses sustained by injured employees. When an accident occurs, you have 30 days to notify your employer.
Your employer, in turn, has seven days to inform their workers’ compensation insurance company. This insurer will then investigate the claim and decide on the payment of benefits. It’s important to note that Florida’s workers’ compensation system operates on a no-fault basis, meaning you don’t need to prove negligence to receive benefits.
Benefits under workers’ compensation are typically paid starting on the 8th day for employees with disabilities, lasting less than 21 days. For workers with disabilities lasting 21 days or more, benefits are paid from the 1st day. Injured employees are generally required to seek medical treatment from a physician pre-approved by the workers’ comp insurance company, except in emergency treatment cases.
However, there are exceptions to workers’ compensation laws. If your employer doesn’t carry the required workers’ comp insurance, if your employer intentionally harmed you, or if your injury resulted from the negligent acts of a third party, you may have other legal options outside of the workers’ compensation system. In such cases, you may consider pursuing a personal injury lawsuit or other legal remedies.
It’s advisable to consult with a qualified Florida construction lawyer to understand your unique situation and explore the best course of action for seeking compensation for your construction site injury.
Can I File a Lawsuit If I Was a Subcontractor At The Site?
Subcontractors can file lawsuits against liable parties if negligence contributed to their injuries.
How Long Does a Construction Accident lawsuit Take To Settle?
The timeline varies depending on the case’s complexity, but some claims can take over a year to resolve.
Why Do I Need a Construction Accident Attorney?
The legal process can be complex, and an attorney can help you navigate it, ensuring you have a valid claim.
What should I do if I have been in a construction accident?
Seek medical attention, document the incident, and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What should be done to protect workers from electrocution?
Employers should follow safety regulations, provide proper training, and enforce safety-related work practices to protect workers from electrocution.
How a Construction Site Injury Lawyer Can with Your Claim
A construction accident lawyer can play a crucial role in helping construction workers with their injury claims by providing expert legal guidance and taking specific actions to ensure their rights are protected and they receive fair compensation. Here’s how a construction accident lawyer can assist with a construction worker’s injury claim:
Evaluating Your Injury Claim
Construction accident cases can be complex, and determining the true value of a claim requires a deep understanding of similar cases, previous verdicts, and settlements. Experienced lawyers with knowledge of construction accident cases, like those at Parker Waichman, can evaluate your claim accurately, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
Determining a Claim/Litigation Strategy
To maximize compensation recovery, it’s essential to navigate the complexities of negligence law, workers’ compensation systems, and personal injury damages. A skilled construction accident attorney can develop a strategic approach tailored to your case, leveraging their extensive experience to optimize your damage award.
Demystifying the Process
It can be stressful to deal with a complex legal process while recovering from an injury. Instead of taking on the complex task on your own, you can focus on recovering while an experienced law team makes sure you get the best amount of compensation possible. Construction accident attorneys excel in effective communication and can guide you through the legal and procedural aspects of your case, ensuring that you understand your rights and responsibilities.
Complying With Deadlines
The legal system has strict deadlines, such as statutes of limitations, that must be adhered to for a successful claim. A construction accident lawyer will help you meet these deadlines, preventing potential harm to your legal rights.
Dealing With Insurance Companies
Whether pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, civil lawsuit, or both, you’ll likely have to engage with insurance companies. While insurers may appear cooperative, their primary goal is to minimize payouts.
A construction accident injury lawyer will protect your interests and navigate any obstacles the insurance carriers may pose.
Investigating Your Accident
A strong case starts with a thorough investigation. Your attorney will promptly gather evidence, ensuring nothing vital is lost. This investigation may include accident scene assessments, witness interviews, and preserving critical evidence.
Managing Medical Records
Your lawyer will assist in tracking your medical records, expenses, and treatment, helping establish the extent of your injuries. They’ll work to ensure all relevant medical information supports your claim.
Utilizing Expert Resources
In complex cases, construction accident attorneys may bring in medical experts, safety specialists, engineers, economists, and other professionals to strengthen your claim. These experts provide valuable testimony and evidence to bolster your case.
Handling Financial Matters
Your attorney will help you manage medical bills, provider liens, and government liens throughout the legal process, ensuring your financial interests are protected.
Representing You in Court
If negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory settlement, experienced trial lawyers will represent you in court. They will vigorously advocate on your behalf, striving for the best possible resolution of your workers’ compensation claim.
Contact Construction Site Injury Lawyers for Help
Construction site injuries can have a profound impact on your life, physically, emotionally, and financially. Pursuing compensation through avenues like workers’ compensation, personal injury lawsuits, product liability claims, or wrongful death actions is crucial for your well-being and future. If you’ve been injured on a construction site in Florida, don’t hesitate to consult with a construction site injury lawyer. They can provide the guidance and support needed to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve in the aftermath of a construction accident.
If you have been seriously injured due to a construction site or work zone accident, we can help. Your path to justice begins with a simple step — Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 855-741-LAWS for a free and confidential consultation.