Construction accident cases can be complicated to handle, as it is not always immediately clear what caused an individual’s accident and who should be held liable. For this reason, it is vital that you contact a reputable Stuart construction accident lawyer for help with your claim if you have been injured in a construction accident.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to compensation from a variety of parties and through a variety of types of claims, such as a workers’ compensation claim, personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death case. The attorneys at Gordon & Doner are well-versed in the many state and federal laws that apply to construction accidents and can advise you of your legal options and if you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our team now to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to learn more.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started today.
Why Do I Need a Construction Accident Lawyer?
Because there are many state and federal laws that apply to personal injuries on construction sites, it is vital that you work with a lawyer who is familiar with the laws that could apply to your case and who understands how to file a successful claim seeking compensation for your injuries.
Our attorneys have decades of experience handling personal injury cases like this and will guide you through every step of the process. We will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of your accident and the construction site to determine if any safety laws have been violated
- Investigate your employer and the construction site to identify any past violations of state or federal safety laws
- Help obtain your medical records and hire medical experts if necessary to prove the extent of your injuries
- Gather witness statements that can help create a picture of what caused your injury
- Advise you of the laws that apply to your case
- Identify all parties that could be liable for your injuries
- Handle all details of your case for you, including communicating with the insurance company
- Communicate with you about everything that happens in your case
Call 1 (855) 722-2552 to learn more about how we can help you.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average for all other industries.
One reason for this is because construction sites are dangerous work environments that involve dangerous heights, heavy equipment and hard labor. Furthermore, construction sites often have many parties working on many different projects and tasks at once. Any mistake or oversight on behalf of one party poses a great risk to all workers on the site.
Despite requirements from OSHA that employers maintain a safe work environment, implement job safety programs and conduct regular inspections of a site, accidents still happen.
Some of the most common causes of accidents that occur on construction sites include:
- Poor oversight or safety precautions
- Inadequate training
- Improper use of or maintenance of equipment
- Defective equipment
- Falling objects
- Falls from scaffolding or other heights
- Crane accidents
- Harness accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Exposure to toxic substances
If you or someone you love has been injured in one of these accidents, or another not listed here, you should contact our Stuart construction accident lawyers as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options for obtaining compensation for your injuries.
Types of Claims for Construction Accidents
Depending on the cause of your injury, it may be possible to pursue one of the following types of claims with the help of a Stuart construction accident attorney.
Most workers who suffer injuries on the job must file a claim for workers’ compensation to recover compensation for their injuries. This is because employers have immunity from personal injury lawsuits filed by injured workers.
One benefit to applying for workers’ compensation is that it is a no-fault system, which means you do not need to prove fault for your injuries. You simply need to show that your injuries occurred during the course of your employment. This means that your injury occurred while you were at work performing the required duties of your job.
If you have been injured at work, Florida’s workers’ compensation law requires that you inform your employer of an injury within 30 days of when the injury occurred. However, it is best to tell your employer of an injury as soon as possible after it occurs. Informing your employer of your injury will initiate the workers’ compensation claims process.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Although an injured worker cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against his or her employer, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against a third party that was responsible for causing your injury.
To file a third-party claim, you must be able to prove that your injury was caused by the third-party’s negligence. This requires proof that:
- The third party had a legal obligation to ensure your safety
- The third party breached this obligation by engaging in certain actions or failing to engage in certain actions
- This breach directly caused your injuries
An example of negligence in a construction injury claim could include a subcontractor who dug a large hole on the construction site but failed to put up fall protection barriers or warning signs to let others on the site know that the hole existed. If an electrician suffered an injury after falling into the hole, he or she could file a claim against the third party responsible for digging the hole.
Florida’s statutes of limitations require that all personal injury lawsuits be filed within four years of the date of the injury.
Product Liability Case
If your injury was caused by a defective product, it may be possible to file a product liability lawsuit against any party in the distribution chain, including the designer, manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer of the product.
However, in order to file this type of lawsuit, you must be able to prove that you were using the product in the way it was intended at the time of the accident.
These claims must also be filed within four years of the date of the injury, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. In some cases, an individual may not immediately know that he or she has been injured by a defective product and that he or she may have a valid claim involving the product. In these cases, the statute of repose states that injury victims cannot file a product liability lawsuit more than 12 years after it was delivered to the first purchaser.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, you will likely be able to file a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits.
However, in many cases, this compensation may not be enough to fully cover the many expenses you may experience after the loss of a loved one. In these cases, it may be possible to file a third-party wrongful death lawsuit against another party that was responsible for your loved one’s death. Like third-party personal injury lawsuits, these cases require proof that the third party’s negligent actions directly caused your loved one’s death.
Surviving family members have only two years from the individual’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Injured workers may also be able to file a complaint with OSHA if an unsafe work environment caused their injury. This type of claim, however, will not provide compensation for your injury, it will simply inform OSHA of any violations your employer has committed.
OSHA provides workers with many important rights, including the right to:
- Work on machines that are safe
- Be provided safety gear, such as gloves, a helmet, or a harness and lifeline for falls
- Request an OSHA inspection
- Report an injury or illness without fear of retaliation
- Obtain copies of your medical records
- See copies of the workplace injury and illness blog
Our construction accident attorneys in Stuart will review the details or your accident and injuries to determine which claim is appropriate for your situation. In some cases, it may be possible to pursue more than one claim at a time.
Call 1 (855) 722-2552 to find out if you have a case.
Who Could Be Held Liable for a Construction Accident?
Because there are many parties often involved in one construction site or project, there are many parties that can be held liable for injuries that occur on the site. Some common third parties that could be liable for an accident include:
Construction Site Owner
The owner of the construction site could potentially be held liable for accidents that occur on the site, depending on the level of control he or she has over the property and the work being conducted.
If the owner maintains direct control over the site, he or she has a legal obligation to ensure the property is free from dangerous hazards that could cause harm to others. A failure to do this, could make the property owner liable for your accident.
OSHA specifically states that it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all workers, including employees and subcontractors, have safe working conditions. Because of this, a general contractor could be held liable for injuries that occur on his or her job site.
Prime contractors are only legally responsible for the work that is identified in their contract as well as any work that they choose to assign out to subcontractors. This includes ensuring that their work falls within OSHA’s safety standards.
Architects and Engineers
In some situations, architects and engineers may have a responsibility to ensure that the construction of a site is done in compliance with plans and relevant code regulations. If one of these individuals fails to perform the duties outlined in his or her contract for the project, he or she could be held liable for any accidents and injuries that result.
If an accident or injury is caused by a defective product, any party that contributed to the design, production or sale of the product could potentially be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Our trusted team of Stuart construction accident lawyers can help you determine the exact cause of your accident and which party should be held liable for your injuries. In some cases, more than one party may share liability for your injuries and it may be possible to bring multiple claims against multiple parties.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to learn more.
What Type of Compensation Can I Recover?
The type of claim you file after a construction accident injury will determine the type of compensation you are able to recover.
Approved claims for workers’ compensation benefits may provide compensation for:
- Medical benefits
- Lost wages and other monetary compensation
- Death benefits, which can include funeral expenses, compensation to dependents and educational benefits for the surviving spouse
Individuals who file negligence claims, such as a lawsuit for personal injury, product liability or wrongful death, are entitled to several additional types of compensation, including compensation for:
- Medical Expenses: This may include all relevant expenses related to medical treatment for your injury, such as doctors’ visits, hospital stays, medical tests, surgery, medications, physical therapy and other types of therapy.
- Lost Wages: This can include reimbursement for wages you missed while you were away from work after an injury to heal from your injury or receive treatment. It may also include payment for lost earning capacity, which could pay for the wages you will miss if your injury prevents you from being able to work again.
- Pain and Suffering: Many injuries bring not only economic damage, but also physical and emotional damage as well. In these cases, it may be possible to obtain compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering you have experienced as a result of your injury.
- Funeral Expenses: If you lost a loved one, you may be able to obtain compensation to help cover the costs associated with burying the dead and other expenses related to his or her funeral.
Insurance companies and the at-fault party will do everything they can to attempt to reduce the compensation they have to pay for your claim. Because of this, it is vital that you have an experienced Stuart construction accident attorney by your side who is committed to fighting for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys have decades of experience handling a variety of personal injury claims, including construction accidents, and know what it takes to help our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
Contact Our Stuart Construction Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a construction site accident, you have legal rights and may be entitled to compensation. Do not wait to contact our Stuart construction accident lawyers today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case and how our attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
All of our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you will not be charged for our services unless we obtain compensation for you.