Recently, the private construction industry in Florida had one of the highest annual rates of fatal injuries when compared to other industry sectors. By most measures, the total number of fatal and nonfatal Florida construction accidents has shown an increasing trend, with many workers suffering serious injuries that lead to long-term disabilities.
The Fort Lauderdale construction accident attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo are working to reverse this trend by holding those responsible accountable by filing construction accident lawsuits against contractors, materialmen, equipment suppliers, and architects whose negligence causes serious injuries to construction workers.
Our nearly thirty years of experience in accident and injury law has enabled us to recover millions of dollars in damages for injured construction personnel. Get the compensation you deserve, schedule a free consultation with our lawyers today to find out if you have a case.
The Importance of Hiring a Construction Accident Lawyer
Florida construction sites involve complex interactions among multiple contractors and their employees, heavy equipment and machinery, and suppliers of material and services. Many construction workers perform tasks at high elevations or work in areas where objects might be dropped from those elevations. Florida’s rapidly changing weather conditions and unstable land formations add further layers of risk to construction locations.
An accident and injury attorney who does not understand the dynamics of a Florida construction site might miss important factors that can mean the difference between an injured worker’s recovery of a large damages award and no award at all.
Given this, it is critical for an employee who suffers injuries in a Broward County accident to hire a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney who has special expertise in construction accident law.
A Fort Lauderdale construction accident attorney is best able to use their knowledge of site dynamics to analyze the accident and assign liability to all parties whose negligence contributed to the worker’s injuries.
Common Causes of Job Site Accidents
A majority of construction accidents involve:
- Falling from an elevated surface, or a tool or some other equipment falling from an elevation and striking someone below
- Electrocutions due to contact with live power lines, poorly grounded power sources, or faulty equipment
- Collisions with heavy machinery or moving construction equipment or materials
- Entrapment in enclosed spaces or crushing injuries from machinery or equipment in construction spaces.
The injuries that workers can suffer as a result of one or more of these causes include burns, broken bones, lacerations, internal organ injuries, and head, neck, and spinal trauma. In extreme cases, an injured worker might suffer a traumatic limb amputation, blindness, permanent paralysis, or even death.
Who Might Be Liable for Your Injuries?
A construction employee who suffers an on-the-job injury might recover compensation for medical expenses and lost wages with a workers’ compensation claim that is filed with his or her employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier. Workers’ compensation eliminates an employee’s right to sue the employer but increases the likelihood of receiving benefits, or at least, it is supposed to.
Because construction sites often involve multiple independent contractors, an injured employee may have an opportunity to sue third parties at the construction site for damages that are not compensated by workers’ compensation. For example, a worker might file a construction accident lawsuit against:
- The property owner, architect, site engineer, or any other parties other than a worker’s employer who had some control over activities at the site and were negligent in the exercise of that control
- Third parties who visited the site without exercising proper care for worker safety
- Machinery, scaffolding, and equipment manufacturers and suppliers whose defective products caused an injury.
A South Florida construction employer might also be directly liable for damages if the employer failed to maintain adequate workers’ compensation insurance or acted with gross negligence or willful misconduct in ways that caused the construction worker’s injuries.
In all cases, an experienced construction accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will investigate every avenue that an injured employee may have to recover the largest available damages award to compensate the employee for all their losses.
Proving Liability for a Construction Site Accident
To recover damages in a construction accident lawsuit apart from a workers’ compensation claim against an employer, an injured employee in a construction accident lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale must show not only that a party was negligent, but also that the party’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the accident that resulted in the employee’s injuries.
To accomplish this, the injured employee’s construction accident lawyer will use the specific facts of the case to show that:
- The negligent party owed a duty to conduct operations at a construction site safely such that employees and other persons at the site are not exposed to high levels of risk
- That party failed to adhere to that duty
- The negligent party’s lapse caused an accident
- The accident caused injuries that precipitated financial and other losses
Establishing a party’s duty of safety involves using the facts of a case to demonstrate that the party did not act in accordance with OSHA safety standards or other practices that are common at South Florida construction sites. The facts might show, for example, that a negligent party did not provide safe walking paths away from construction traffic or failed to secure equipment or materials at high elevations.
An experienced Florida construction accident lawyer will investigate site practices and other evidence about an accident. Construction sites, however, can change rapidly, and the pertinent evidence about an accident can fade very quickly as a project moves forward.
A construction accident victim will have the best chance to show that a party is liable for injuries when the victim retains an attorney as soon as possible after the accident, and before relevant evidence is no longer available.
Statute of Limitations on Construction Injury Claims
Florida recently shortened the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit to two years after the accident happened. Workers’ compensation claims are governed by a different set of deadlines, including a requirement that the injured employee must report the construction accident in writing to his or her employee within 30 days after it happened.
An injured worker’s lawsuit will likely be dismissed if it is not filed before the applicable deadline. Given this fact, when you suffer an injury in a construction accident you should not hesitate to consult with a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible to secure your right to collect the compensation you deserve.
Reach Out to the Construction Accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo
The personal injury lawyers in the South Florida offices of Kogan & DiSalvo have honed their construction accident skills and knowledge through their representation of hundreds of injured clients over more than thirty years. We have recovered millions of dollars in damages on behalf of our clients and we will fight tirelessly to recover the compensation you need to get back on your feet after you are injured at a construction site due to someone else’s negligence.
In addition to our Fort Lauderdale offices, we have locations in West Palm Beach, St. Petersburg, and elsewhere in and around Broward County. Injured construction workers should call any of our offices to schedule a no-fee, no-obligation consultation with one of our construction accident attorneys.
We will review your case and explain your options to file claims and lawsuits against the parties that are liable to compensate you for your losses. If you hire our firm, you will pay nothing out of pocket for our services, and we will only be paid if we are able to resolve your claims or prevail in your lawsuit against the negligent parties that caused your accident.