Construction Accidents

How To Pursue Compensation After a Florida Construction Accident

Category: Construction Accidents |

Experienced and Knowledgeable Attorneys Helping Injured Construction Workers in Tampa If you were injured or someone you love was killed while working on a construction site, it is critical that you stand up for your legal rights. You may be entitled to significant compensation, but if you do nothing (or make mistakes like failing to hire a qualified attorney), you will end up without the money you need to cover your medical bills, your family’s expenses, and your other losses. So, how do you pursue compensation after a construction accident in Florida? There are actually two ways, both of which require you to hire a lawyer who can deal with your employer (or your spouse’s employer), the insurance companies, and any contractors or other companies that may have been at fault in the accident. These companies have teams of defense lawyers, and it simply will not be a fair fight unless you have experienced legal representation on your side. Two Ways to Seek Financial Compensation After a Construction Accident Option 1: File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits The first way to pursue compensation after a construction accident is to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Under Florida law, qualifying employers (which include most major construction companies) have a legal obligation to pay workers’ compensation benefits to their injured employees. These are no-fault benefits – with only very limited exceptions, employers must pay regardless of the cause of the accident. As a result, injured construction workers and families who have lost loved ones working construction will frequently be entitled to seek benefits for: Electrical accidents Equipment, truck, and heavy machinery accidents Falls from heights Ladder and scaffolding accidents Injuries from being struck by tools, materials, or debris Injuries from being pinned under or against objects Again, when it comes to workers’ compensation, it does not matter who (or what company) was at fault in the accident. If you were injured or your spouse, parent, or other close family member was killed, you need to speak with an attorney about claiming the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. The benefits available through the Florida workers’ compensation system depend upon the extent of the harm suffered and whether the accident was fatal or resulted in non-life-threatening injuries. For non-fatal accidents, the benefits available through workers’ compensation include: Disability or impairment benefits (partial wage replacement) Coverage for medical expenses In fatal accident cases, the death benefits that are available to spouses, minor children, and certain other dependent family members through workers’ compensation include: Funeral expenses up to $7,500 Dependent compensation Educational benefits (surviving spouses only) For additional details and information on the limits that apply to workers’ compensation benefits in Florida, you can visit the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation Benefits website. Option 2: File a Claim for Personal Injury or Wrongful Death The second way to pursue compensation for a construction site accident is to file a claim for personal injury or wrongful death. With these types of claims, you can recover full compensation for your accident-related losses (unlike workers’ compensation benefits, which are limited). In order to file a claim for personal injury or wrongful death, you will need to be able to establish that someone other than your employer is to blame for your injuries or your loved one’s passing. While employers must pay limited no-fault benefits to all injured employees, they take on this obligation in exchange for a legal guarantee that they will not be sued for their employees’ job-related injuries (except in certain, egregious circumstances). But if your employer is not at fault, then who is? On a typical construction site, there will be employees of multiple different companies working together at any one time. General contracting, electrical, HVAC, concrete pouring – usually each of these aspects of a construction project will be handled by a different independent contractor or subcontractor. If you or your loved one was injured in an accident caused by an employee of one of these independent companies (including, for example, a site manager who failed to ensure adequate safety precautions), in some instances, that company could be fully responsible for you and your family’s losses. There are other potential sources of compensation as well. For example, many construction accidents result from dangerous and defective products. If you fell from a ladder that was designed or manufactured improperly, if you were injured by a defective tool, or if you were injured in an accident involving a defective truck or piece of heavy machinery, there may be several companies that all share liability for your injury. If you were injured or your loved one was killed due to an issue with the property itself, the landowner may hold financial responsibility for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses. In any case, the key is to conduct a thorough investigation as quickly as possible. You need to know who was to blame, and you need to collect evidence to be used to prove their liability in settlement negotiations or at trial. This means hiring an experienced personal injury law firm with the team and resources necessary to promptly take action to protect your rights. IMPORTANT: You Can (and Should) File Both Types of Claims When it comes to seeking to recover just compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s death, you do not need to choose between filing for workers’ compensation benefits and filing a claim for personal injury or wrongful death. You can file for both, and it is critical that you do so. While workers’ compensation benefits are limited, in many cases, you can recover these benefits more quickly than you can recover compensation for personal injuries or wrongful death. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may even be able to negotiate a lump-sum payment so that you do not have to wait for a check to come in each and every month. You may need to pay back your workers’ compensation benefits if you secure a settlement or...

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Keep on Your Hard Hat: A Close Look at Serious Types of Construction Site Injuries

Category: Construction Accidents |

Florida construction accident statistics show that in 2012 alone, the construction industry had “the largest number of workplace fatalities in the state, up [34%] from the previous year.” This information comes directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and demonstrates just how dangerous construction sites can be Construction site injuries are some of the most serious forms of harm Common injuries at construction sites include the following: Falls. Whether you’re on a ladder, scaffolding, or other supporting structure, falls happen every day at a construction site somewhere. At times, the structure itself is defective or poorly positioned – and it doesn’t even need to be that high for a serious fall to occur. Slip and falls. A construction site is often a landmine of walking hazards, so slip and falls (as opposed to falling off a higher structure) happen frequently. Tools left lying around, building materials scattered everywhere, large holes in the floor, and uneven ground are just a few reasons for serious slip and falls. Eye injuries. Many people don’t associate eye injuries with construction sites, but they actually happen fairly often. Sharp or blunt objects and tools – as well as dangerous chemicals – can steal a person’s vision in a heartbeat. Electrocutions. Live electric wires are everywhere at some construction sites. When they’re not properly labeled, insulated, or worked with, the results can be catastrophic. Fires and explosions. Unfinished piping, leaking gas, and incomplete or mishandled electrical wiring can easily cause fires at a construction site and yes – even explosions. Other common construction site injuries can be caused by: Falling debris Getting caught in between machinery Being hit by a vehicle If you’re a worker who was injured on a site, you may be entitled to workers compensation (depending on your particular situation). Of course, if your employer is giving you grief about filing a claim, you may have to take them to court. But even if you were just visiting the site, or conducting some other business there, there’s still a chance you will get hurt — and badly. Do you need a St. Petersburg personal injury attorney? If you need an injury lawyer, talk to our firm today. We’ve helped hundreds of clients get compensation for their injuries. The staff of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. A free consultation is available, so call us at 1-800-753-5203.

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Construction Accident Statistics Show that Fatal Construction Accident Injuries are On the Rise

Category: Construction Accidents |

According to recent construction industry statistics, the rate of fatal construction injuries that occur in the workplace has been on the rise in the United States. An Increase in Fatal Construction Injuries According to construction accident statistics the 2012 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 775 people were killed by work injuries in the private construction sector in 2012. This represents an increase of 5 percent over the 731 fatal work injuries in 2011. This increase in construction accident fatalities follows five consecutive years in which worker deaths were on the decline since peaking in 2006. Construction workers are exposed to more workplace fatalities than employees in any other private industry. Of the 4175 worker fatalities that took place in the private sector in 2012, roughly 20 percent were caused by construction accidents. Understanding the Construction Industry’s “Fatal Four” Causes of Worker Deaths When it comes to understanding construction injuries in the United States, it’s important to know that there are four causes of worker deaths that account for about half of all construction worker fatalities. These workplace hazards are known in the industry as the “Fatal Four.” Falls Struck by objects Electrocutions Caught in/between objects According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, preventing these types of accidents could more than 400 worker’s lives every year. Have you or a loved one been hurt in a construction accident? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 for a free case evaluation. Call us today if you’ve been seriously injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. Our Tampa personal injury lawyers have been fighting for the rights of the injured for over 30 years. Because of the fact that cases involving workers’ compensation injuries may be highly complex and exceedingly specific, our law firm commonly works with other law firms who have considerable experience in each particular case type. Thus, we may be referring these types of cases to a separate firm, with whom we typically associate and work with on a co-counsel basis.

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