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Construction work is inherently dangerous, making construction sites common locations for severe and sometimes even fatal accidents. In Florida, construction workers who are injured on the job have the right to pursue compensation for their work injuries.

Understanding workers’ compensation and third-party claims can help you protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered from a construction site injury in Florida, The Morgan Law Group’s experienced Florida personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping injured workers.

Common Construction Site Injuries in Florida

Construction sites pose numerous risks to workers and injuries can have devastating short and long-term consequences. Here are some of the most common types of construction site injuries:

  1. Falls from Heights: Construction work frequently involves working at elevated heights.  Sadly, falls from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, or incomplete structures are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities. These falls can result in broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even death.
  2. Electrocution: Working with electrical systems is commonplace on construction sites, and even experienced workers are at risk. Exposed or damaged wiring, faulty electrical equipment, or contact with power lines pose a serious threat of electrocution, potentially leading to severe burns, cardiac arrest, or death.
  3. Struck by Objects: Construction sites have many moving parts, and workers can be struck by falling debris, tools, building materials, or collapsing structures.  Injuries can include head trauma, lacerations, broken bones, and crushing injuries.
  4. Caught-in/Between Accidents: Workers can become trapped in or between heavy machinery, vehicles, trenches, or collapsing structures. These accidents can lead to crushing injuries, amputations, asphyxiation, and other severe or fatal injuries.
  5. Overexertion Injuries: Construction work often involves repetitive motions, heavy lifting, and awkward postures that can strain muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Over time, this strain can lead to back injuries, sprains and strains, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Construction site injuries in Florida can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences for workers and their families. Employers are obligated to take precautions to minimize hazards and implement safety programs to protect their workers.  If a construction site injury occurs, it’s vital to your legal rights and the options available for pursuing compensation for your losses.

How Florida Workers’ Compensation Works

Florida workers’ compensation laws follow a no-fault system. This means that even if you were partially responsible for the accident that caused your construction injuries, you are generally still entitled to benefits. Here’s what workers’ compensation typically covers:

  • Medical Expenses: Workers’ compensation pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your construction site injury. This includes doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, surgeries, physical therapy, and any other ongoing medical care you may need.
  • Lost Wages: If your injury prevents you from working, you’ll receive a portion of your average weekly wages while out of work. These benefits are usually about two-thirds of your regular salary, up to a state-mandated maximum.
  • Disability Benefits: Workers’ compensation provides disability benefits if your injury leaves you with a permanent or temporary impairment.
  • Death Benefits: In the tragic event of a fatal work-related accident, workers’ compensation offers financial support to the worker’s surviving dependents, including spouses, children, or other financially dependent individuals.

Workers’ compensation provides an important safety net for injured workers in Florida. However,  the system can be complex, and benefits may be limited. This is why it’s important to understand your rights and consider contacting an experienced Florida accident attorney if you or someone you know has been injured.

How Third-Party Claims Differ

While workers’ compensation is vital, it may not fully compensate you for all your losses following a construction site accident. This is where third-party claims come in. Here’s how they differ from workers’ compensation:

  • Fault-Based: Unlike workers’ compensation,  in a third-party claim, you must prove the other party’s negligence or wrongdoing contributed to your injury.
  • Potentially Liable Parties: Examples of potential third parties who could be liable for your injuries include:
  1. Equipment Manufacturers: If defective equipment caused your injuries, you might have a claim against the manufacturer.
  2. Subcontractors: Another subcontractor’s negligence might have led to your injuries, making them liable.
  3. Property Owners: Hazards or unsafe conditions on the property might mean the owner bears some responsibility.
  • Expanded Damages: Third-party claims for construction site injuries offer a wider range of compensation, including:
  1. Pain and Suffering: Recognizes the physical and emotional hardship caused by the injury.
  2. Emotional Distress: Covers mental anguish related to the accident and subsequent trauma.
  3. Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the inability to engage in activities you enjoyed before the injury.

Third-party claims can significantly expand the amount of compensation you receive beyond what workers’ compensation provides. Determining whether you have grounds for a third-party claim requires careful analysis of your accident, which is where a skilled Florida personal injury attorney can provide legal guidance.

When Both Work Compensation and Third-Party Claims Apply

Certain scenarios warrant both workers’ compensation and third-party claims in Florida. This dual approach can maximize the support and compensation an injured worker receives. For example, if a defective piece of equipment causes an injury, the worker may claim workers’ compensation for immediate benefits and also pursue a third-party claim against the equipment manufacturer for additional damages.

Why You Should Seek a Florida Personal Injury Attorney and How They Can Help

Workers’ compensation and third-party claims after a construction accident in Florida can be complex. An experienced Florida accident attorney can fight for your rights and help you maximize your financial recovery.

The Morgan Law Group understands the challenges faced by injured construction workers. Our injury attorneys in Florida can investigate the accident, calculate your damages, handle the paperwork, negotiate with insurers, and represent you in court when necessary.

If you’ve been hurt in a construction accident in Florida, don’t hesitate to contact us right away and schedule your free case evaluation. Our Florida accident attorneys will review your case and guide you through your legal options to ensure that you receive the support and compensation you need.