Day in and day out, hardworking members of the construction industry walk right by signs that caution the general public “No Trespassing” and “Danger: Construction Zone.” They do it because it’s their job. They’re electricians, carpenters, masons, welders, framers, roofers, plumbers, crane operators, heavy equipment operators, and other blue collar workers who are just trying to earn a living. They’re expecting a paycheck, not to become the victim of a construction accident suffering personal injury.
There’s a reason that site owners and company managers place those warning signs around the property. They know construction jobs are dangerous and that construction sites are filled with risks. They don’t want to be responsible for any accidents or mishaps that might take place there. But accidents and mishaps do occur, and frequently, it’s the workers who are victims of these construction accidents. When construction accidents happen and someone suffers personal injury or wrongful death, Hannon Legal Group can help. We’re a Personal Injury law firm experienced in pursuing justice for the victims of construction site accidents.The Construction Accident Epidemic in South Florida and Across the Country
How common are construction site accidents? Construction is the third most deadly line of work in the United States, according to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration. In fact, construction accounted for one-fifth of all work-related deaths in 2014.
The “fatal four” kinds of accidents responsible for the most construction accident deaths are:
- Caught-in/caught-between - This includes situations where workers are compressed or caught in objects or construction equipment. It also includes events where the worker is crushed by collapsing material, equipment, or a structure.
- Electrocutions - This happens when a worker is exposed to an electrical current so high that internal injuries and even death occur.
- Struck by Object - This includes instances when large and dangerous objects, such as girders, walls or a pallet filled with bricks , forcefully strike a worker or when construction materials fall on a worker.
- Falls - By far, falls account for the most construction-related work fatalities. Nearly 40% of people who died working construction in 2014 were victims of a fatal fall.
Not every construction accident is fatal. The point is, construction sites are dangerous places. Safety should be job one. As personal injury lawyers with construction accident experience, Hannon Legal Group can attest that this isn’t always the case.Negligence: Often The Reason Construction Accidents Happen
Construction is big business. It’s a vital part of our country’s economy. Construction contracts almost always involve proposals and bids. The winning bid, usually the lowest bidder, will do everything in their power to complete the job and make a profit. Unfortunately, that can mean they’ll cut corners and take unnecessary risks, putting their employees and subcontractors at risk for personal injury or death. That’s wrong. That’s immoral. And that’s why Hannon Legal Group handles these kinds of personal injury cases.
In legal terms, this is negligence. Negligence is generally a matter of poor or non-existent training, a lack of proper oversight, lack of proper equipment maintenance and/or the lack of sufficient safety protocols or safety equipment. Many construction accidents could be avoided if there was proper warning information posted, adequate barriers, proper lighting, and an emphasis on safety. Unfortunately, the standards of construction site safety are often violated in the name of expediency. In fact, some of the most common violations, according to OSHA, are in the area of:
- Awning and scaffolding safety
- Design of the electrical system
- Electrical wiring violations
- Fall protections and safeguards
- Failure to guard heavy machinery and equipment
- Respiratory protection on construction sites
- Violations on improper ladder usage
Who’s responsible for such negligence? The blame usually rests with construction company owners, general contractors, sub-contractors, project managers, property owners, architects, engineers, and sometimes equipment manufacturers. The decision-makers whose choices affect those under their supervision have a special obligation to ensure a safe working environment for everyone involved in the project.What Kinds Of Construction Accidents Are Familiar To Hannon Legal Group Familiar?
A poorly designed or negligently managed construction site is an accident waiting to happen. The only question is, how many people will get hurt and what will be the extent of the personal injury sustained? Here is a brief overview of the kinds of accidents happening in construction or on construction sites that can lead to serious personal injury or death.
- Crane accidents
- Exposure to volatile substances
- Defective construction equipment
- Forklift accidents
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Hoist accidents
- Misuse of tools
- Scaffolding accidents
- Structural collapses
- Trench collapses
- Welding accidents
Anyone can be affected by one of these kinds of accidents occurring on a construction site. However, the list of people most often injured include: carpenters, electrical workers, construction laborers, masons, roofers, foremen, air conditioning contractors, excavators and other workers whose wellbeing is impacted at the hands of a contractor or subcontractor.Construction Accident Victim Personal Injuries
The injuries experienced by victims involved in construction accidents in Florida are as varied as the kind of people who can be injured. Jobsites are inherently dangerous places and that fact means the people in charge should implement more stringent safety precautions than you would find in a less dangerous work setting like an office. There’s powerful, heavy equipment. There’s exposed rebar. There are high platforms that lack railings and other protective barriers. Electric cables are neither protected nor always clearly marked. Pre-formed concrete walls are not always braced or secured. Any one of these factors could result in injuries that are often violent and traumatic.
As a personal injury law firm accustomed to handling construction accident cases in Miami-Dade, Fort Lauderdale, and other parts of Florida, Hannon Legal Group knows of cases where the unsuspecting victim suffered the mangling or amputation of a limb. In other cases, blindness has occurred. The “lucky” victims may only experience broken bones, which are still extremely painful. But the worst construction site accidents can result in brain injury, paralysis, or even death.The Construction Accident Claims That Can Be Brought Against A Responsible Party
Pursuing a lawsuit as a result of a construction accident in Florida can be complicated because there are so many parties who can be considered responsible for the negligence that led to the injury and there are varying degrees of immunity which may apply. The four types of claims a victim may pursue are:
- Personal injury - This involves negligence on the part of a third party, such as a contractor, subcontractor, architect, or property owner or project manager. You must prove that their negligence led to your injury.
- Product liability - If you were injured because a product you were using on the job failed or proved to be defective, you can bring a case against the manufacturer of the product, as well as every party in the chain of distribution, from the supplier to the retailer who sold or leased the equipment.
- Worker’s compensation - If you are injured as an employee, rather than as an independent contractor, you wouldn’t normally bring a civil liability case against your employer. You can, however, bring a claim for worker’s compensation benefits through your employer’s insurer.
- Wrongful death - In those tragic cases where the negligence of another party has caused the death of someone on the job, the family may bring a wrongful death claim for the loss they suffered.
If you have suffered as a victim of someone else’s negligence that led to a construction accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for one or more of the following:
- Cost of counseling due to the emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (in cases of wrongful death)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of services
- Loss of wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
- Various other forms of damages
Bringing a personal injury claim against the negligent parties in a construction accident is not an endeavor you should undertake without an experienced Florida personal injury law firm like Hannon Legal Group. It’s not enough to demonstrate that you have been injured as the result of a construction accident. You must also show that the accident occurred due to the negligence of the responsible party. In the construction arena, the degree of negligence which occurred is also a factor in determining whether the responsible party may have immunity from a civil lawsuit.
Count on Hannon Legal Group to provide you aggressive, thorough legal representation based on years of experience here in South Florida, dealing with contractors, their insurance companies, and the lawyers who seek to shield guilty parties from accountability. We will fight to prove the justice of your cause and to secure for you every bit of compensation you deserve. For a free consultation or to speak with a construction accident personal injury attorney, call (305) 358-3109. Or send us an email to set up an appointment.