Thousands of construction workers are injured on the job nationwide each year, many of them seriously. Construction-related accidents are especially prevalent in Florida, one of the nation’s fastest-growing states. The operation of heavy equipment, ladders, scaffolding, electrical lines and faulty tools makes the construction industry one of the most dangerous in the United States. While the sheer nature of the industry makes it perilous, often, that danger is compounded by unsafe working conditions or human error in around Broward County. If someone else's negligence caused your injuries and brought pain and suffering to you and your family, you may be entitled to significant compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Always consult with a Fort Lauderdale construction accident lawyer immediately after you're injured.
After a construction injury, the last thing on your mind is a lawsuit. However, the success of future legal action that could bring relief to you and your family may hinge on immediate action in the form of documenting the scene, determining the accident’s cause and identifying all potentially liable parties. Contacting an experienced Fort Lauderdale construction injury attorney like David S. Tupler is critical to your success in court. Retaining counsel immediately after an accident allows you to focus on your recovery while allowing future evidence to be gathered before it has a chance to disappear.
REGULATIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED IN FLORIDA
Every year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) spends millions of dollars to promote initiatives, regulations, and safety standards that will help prevent the most common accidents that occur at construction sites. These include:
- falls from ladders or scaffolding
- objects that strike a worker
- explosions and electrocution
- getting caught in between parts or heavy machinery
Employers are required to follow numerous OSHA regulations to prevent and protect workers from accidents on job sites. Safe working conditions that are clean, dry and free of any known dangers must be provided. Workers must also be trained on construction hazards, and personal protective equipment must be provided by employers.
Often, work is performed high in the air with other workers on lower levels or on the ground. Objects that fall could strike workers below, leading to:
- broken bones
- brain damage
If death occurs in a construction accident caused by the carelessness of another party, the victim’s spouse or family can seek restitution by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
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KNOW WHAT TO DO
If you were involved in an accident while working on a construction site, immediately seek medical treatment for any injuries. Under Florida’s worker’s compensation laws, an injured construction worker is required to see a medical provider. After the evaluation, provide a written report to your employer and keep a copy for your own records. If you feel that your employer did not properly follow OSHA guidelines and regulations, file a report with OSHA to have the site inspected. This inspection could provide your Fort Lauderdale construction injury lawyer with proof of any hazardous safety conditions or negligent actions that might have led to your injuries.
DETERMINING LIABILITY IN BROWARD COUNTY
Victims of construction accidents are often confused when determining the party or parties responsible for their injuries. This can be a complex process and involve multiple parties, all of whom may be responsible in varying degrees.
In Florida, there are limitations when it comes to certain third parties an injured worker can sue. If the worker is employed by a general or subcontractor working along with other subcontractors, all of the contractors and their workers receive immunity from liability unless the accident was due to gross negligence that was caused by the other contractors’ employee.
For Example, if a worker gets hurt on a construction job because an employee of another subcontractor is negligent, you can collect workers comp from your employer and sue the responsible subcontractor for negligence. If the general contractor (GC) you are working for is the one that hurts you, then the workers comp immunity is in effect protecting the GC from a lawsuit. However, if the GC failed to purchase worker’s compensation insurance – which is required by Florida law – the injured worker has the right to sue the GC directly.
As you can see, construction injury litigation is complex. Your best chance of prevailing in court is to secure immediate, skilled representation. The construction attorneys at David S. Tupler, P.A. stand ready to fight on your behalf in Broward County. Call us now to schedule a free consultation over the phone, or at our Fort Lauderdale law office.