Florida’s construction industry is booming, with tens of thousands of workers employed to construct homes, offices, and other facilities. Unfortunately, construction industry workers face significant risks on the job.
Individuals who are injured while performing their work duties are typically eligible for workers’ comp benefits, but this form of compensation can be limited in scope and may not cover all the costs associated with a serious injury. In certain cases, injured workers may be able to file a third-party lawsuit to seek damages above and beyond workers comp. A Stuart construction accident lawyer can help you determine the value of your case and if you are eligible to pursue legal action for an on-the-job injury.
At Kogan & DiSalvo, our passion is to fight for justice and maximum compensation for our personal injury clients. Our Stuart construction accident lawyers work diligently to hold liable parties and their insurers accountable for the damages they owe, and we never entertain lowball settlement offers.
If you’ve been hurt at a construction site in South Florida through no fault of your own, our team can review your case for free and identify every source of compensation available.
Don’t leave much-needed funds on the table. Let a construction accident lawyer in Martin County fight to claim every penny you deserve.
Under workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker automatically gains access to certain benefits regardless of the circumstances or who was at fault.
The tradeoff for getting automatic funds through your employer’s insurance company is that you forfeit the right to sue your employer directly for any negligence that may have contributed to your injury. In some cases, however, you may have a right to seek compensation from a third party, such as a sub-contractor on the site, the property owner, or a person or entity responsible for equipment manufacture or maintenance.
Workers’ comp only covers some of the economic losses workers tend to face in these cases and none of their non-financial losses.
Certain benefits are also capped, like the wage-replacement benefit. This weekly benefit pays for your lost wages when you’re knocked out of the workforce by a job injury. However, it only pays about two-thirds of your normal weekly wage up to the state maximum. As of January 1, 2023, this ceiling is fixed at $1,197.
Furthermore, workers’ comp doesn’t pay any amount of non-economic damages, which encompass intangible losses without intrinsic dollar values, such as emotional distress and loss of quality of life.
If a party other than your employer is responsible for your injury in some way, you may be able to sue them directly for damages, in addition to what you receive from workers comp.
Other parties that could be found liable in a third-party construction site injury lawsuit include:
- Clients and customers
- Workers from other businesses
- The property owner of the work site
- Product and equipment makers
- The general public
Negligent customers, clients, and members of the public can all cause construction workers to suffer accidents. For example, a customer who negligently drives through a parking lot could easily harm a construction worker.
Workers from other businesses can cause injuries as well. By the same token, property owners who fail to maintain their premises in a reasonable manner can be held to pay damages if a worker is injured on their property.
While product and equipment makers typically aren’t physically present at construction worksites, they’re present, in a sense, through the products and equipment that workers use.
When these tools and equipment malfunction and cause injury, the injured worker may be entitled to seek compensatory damages from the product maker, distributor, or retailer, depending on the specific circumstances.
Common instances of defective products at construction worksites include:
- Hand tools
- Hoists, cranes, or telescopic buckets
- Construction vehicles
A third-party lawsuit allows you to access full economic damages for your losses, including:
- Compensation for medical expenses, now and in the future
- Full wage replacement
- Reduced future earning capacity due to disability
- Miscellaneous expenses
The latter category might include travel costs related to medical treatment and expenses paid for homecare services, such as cleaning, yard work, and grocery shopping.
Filing a third-party claim or lawsuit also allows injured workers to seek non-economic damages. This category of damages is intended to cover subjective losses, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
With the aid of a skilled construction accident lawyer in Martin County, an injured worker can potentially recover significant compensation for their injuries.
Punitive damages are rare but are sometimes available in third-party lawsuits involving gross negligence or intentional misdeeds. In Florida, gross negligence refers to behavior that’s so wanton or reckless that it amounts to a willful disregard for the safety or rights of others.
Keep in mind that there’s generally a cap on punitive damages of $500,000 or triple the amount of the total economic and non-economic damages.
To recover the benefits you need, you must act fast. If you’ve been involved in a construction accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Stuart personal injury lawyer to evaluate your case for free.
There’s typically a two-year time limit for third-party injury claims in Florida. In light of this fact, the sooner you get started, the better.
South Florida construction sites are dangerous places. If you’ve been hurt at one, you may be entitled not only to workers’ compensation insurance but also to the proceeds from a third-party lawsuit, depending on the circumstances of your accident.
Speak with a Stuart construction accident lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo today to discuss your claim and learn how much compensation you stand to recover.