The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the construction industry had the highest number of fatal work injuries in Florida. Construction sites are dangerous, and accidents often lead to catastrophic injuries that threaten a worker’s livelihood.
Workers’ compensation usually resolves construction accident cases, but in some cases, they could file a personal injury claim. Injured employees may be able to sue third parties whose recklessness or careless actions caused their accident. Our team of construction accident lawyers in Vero Beach at Kogan and DiSalvo is ready to review your case during a free consultation and help you chart an appropriate course of action.
Types of Construction Site Accidents in Florida
Here are the most common types of construction accidents in Indian River County and across the state:
- Falling Objects: Workers may be exposed to falling debris or objects on the job. This is why they need adequate protection. Helmets, harnesses, and other safety equipment can reduce the risks of injury.
- Machinery Malfunctions: Improperly maintained or malfunctioning machinery is one of the leading causes of worker injury in construction zones. Employers and relevant vendors (such as mechanics or suppliers of rental equipment) are responsible for keeping workplace machinery safe and operational.
- Ladder Accidents: Falls from ladders or scaffolding can lead to life-threatening injuries. Employers should ensure proper safety protocols are in place to protect workers when climbing up and down ladders.
- Vehicle Accidents: Construction sites often use forklifts, backhoes, bulldozers, and other heavy machinery. Vehicle accidents often lead to severe injury or death, even at low speeds. For example, forklifts can cause crushing accidents.
- Inadequate Training or Safety Protocol: Employers must provide proper safety training to their workers and ensure they follow the necessary protocols while on the job. Failure to do so can lead to costly accidents threatening a worker’s well-being. Yet, employers often cut corners to speed up the project and reduce costs.
Construction injuries can range from minor bruises to traumatic brain injuries. Here are some of the most common workplace injuries:
- Head injuries: Falls from ladders or scaffolding, falling objects, and vehicle accidents can result in head injuries. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to permanent disability, behavioral or personality changes, and long-term medical issues.
- Broken bones: The combination of heavy machinery, dangerous tools, and tight spaces puts construction workers at risk for broken bones. If not treated properly, these can lead to long-term physical complications, reduced mobility, and physical disabilities.
- Spinal injuries: Falls, vehicle accidents, and heavy lifting are the most common causes of back and spinal injuries on construction sites. These injuries can be painful and sometimes lead to limited mobility or permanent paralysis.
- Burns: Exposure to electricity, hazardous materials, chemicals, or fire can all result in burn injuries that can be severe and disfiguring. When burns occur at or near joints, they can limit mobility.
- Death: The construction industry is one of the most dangerous, and sadly, workers can die due to unsafe conditions or negligent behavior.
Who Is Liable for a Construction Accident in Vero Beach?
When it comes to liability for construction accidents, the first step is determining if workers’ compensation applies. If so, injured workers may receive benefits without filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employers. However, in certain circumstances, injured workers may be able to step outside the workers’ compensation system and pursue a case for their damages against negligent third parties. Here are some examples:
- The employer’s insurance does not cover all of your losses. Workers’ compensation benefits can only provide limited coverage and typically do not compensate for pain and suffering. You may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to obtain total compensation for your losses.
- The employer does not have workers’ comp insurance. In Florida, businesses must carry workers’ compensation insurance. The company may be directly liable for onsite injuries if it fails to do this. It could also expose the business to fines and other repercussions.
- You are not an employee of the company. Many construction companies use subcontractors. Consequently, if your employer is a subcontractor or if you’re an independent contractor, you may have grounds to pursue a claim against a negligent general contractor, the property owner, and possibly others operating on site.
- Other third parties who may be liable. If other parties besides the employer were negligent in causing or contributing to your injury, you could pursue them in a personal injury lawsuit. This could include a construction worker hit by a car or injured by a defective tool.
- The employer committed intentional negligence. In some cases, employers may act recklessly or intentionally in causing harm. This may include failing to provide adequate equipment, deliberately disregarding safety protocols, or other actions that establish intentional negligence.
- A worker died, and the survivors need compensation. In the event of a fatal accident, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death suit against the liable party.
In a personal injury lawsuit, several types of compensation may be available. Here are some examples of what your Vero Beach construction accident lawyer may pursue on your behalf:
- Medical bills: Reimbursement for medical expenses related to the accident, such as hospital visits and surgery costs.
- Lost wages: If you were unable to work due to an injury, you may be able to recover lost wages for the duration of your recovery.
- Pain and suffering: These non-economic damages compensate an injured person for intangible losses related to the accident, such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium, which are not available in a workers’ comp case.
- Punitive damages: In cases where gross negligence was a factor, punitive damages can be awarded in addition to the other types of compensation. These damages are a form of punishment for negligent third parties. They aim to discourage similar behavior from them and others in the future.
No matter what kind of accident you or a loved one has experienced, it is essential to understand your legal rights. Our attorneys at Kogan and DiSalvo have years of experience pursuing compensation and successfully litigating these cases.
Liable parties often give injured persons and their families the runaround. For example, you go to one entity, and a representative insists another person is at fault. Similarly, insurance companies might try to convince you that your claim can only be settled via workers’ compensation, especially if the injured person is an employee. Here is how we can assist with cases like these.
Our attorneys understand the nuances of workers’ comp and personal injury law. We have experience navigating the intricacies of injury claims. Our team provides legal guidance and evaluates your claim to help you receive full compensation for your losses.
We work hard to negotiate a settlement agreement with insurance companies, employers, or other liable parties. We fight to get you the compensation and justice you deserve. This gives you the time and space you need to recover from your injuries or grieve the loss of a family member.
Our attorneys are fully prepared to represent you in court proceedings if the negligent party does not agree to a fair settlement. Our extensive courtroom experience allows us to be proactive and aggressive when fighting for your rights.
Our team at Kogan and DiSalvo has dedicated our careers to helping injured persons receive the compensation they deserve. We have built a solid and respected reputation for delivering results by securing the maximum possible compensation for our cases. No matter how complex your construction accident is, we want to hear about it. Schedule a free consultation today with a personal injury attorney in Vero Beach.