Personal Injury Attorney for Construction Accidents
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 and suffer a life-altering or fatal personal injury.
There’s a reason that site owners and construction managers place those warning signs around the property. They know construction sites are dangerous and filled with risks. They don’t want to be responsible for any accidents or mishaps that might take place there. Construction work can be done safely if important safety rules are carefully taught and followed.
But accidents and mishaps do occur, and frequently it’s the workers who are victims of these construction accidents. When construction site safety rules are not followed, accidents happen and when a construction worker or bystander suffers personal injury or wrongful death as a result, 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 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 can be dangerous places but when a foreman, general contractor, construction manager or sub-contractor chooses to ignore important safety rules, they become significantly more dangerous. Safety should be job one and safety rules should be taken seriously. 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, "negligence." "damages" and "causation must be proved before you can recover for injuries from a construction site accident. Negligence usually involves the most complex analysis. It occurs when a contractor needlessly endangers the life or safety of someone on a construction site. That usually happens when basic safety rules are ignored.
It 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. Most construction accidents could be avoided if basic safety rules were followed. Sometimes that can include making sure proper warning information is disseminated or posted, that adequate barriers are in place, that there is adequate lighting, and that there is an emphasis on safety.
Unfortunately, the standards of construction site safety (safety rules) are often violated in the name of expediency. In fact, some of the most common violations, according to OSHA, are in the areas of:
- Scaffolding sand awning 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 of ladder usage safety rules
Anyone can be affected by 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. Their safety and wellbeing is usually in the hands of construction managers, general contractors or subcontractors so it is critical that important safety rules are carefully implemented and followed.
Construction Accident Victim Personal Injuries
The types of injuries experienced by victims involved in construction accidents in Florida are as varied as the kind of people who can be injured. Jobsites can be dangerous places and that fact means the people in charge should implement more stringent safety rules and precautions than you would find in a less dangerous work setting like an office. There’s powerful, heavy equipment and obstructed sightlines. 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 the way they should be. Any one of these factors could result in injuries that are often violent and traumatic. But most construction site accidents are preventable if basic safety rules are followed.
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 could be 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.
How a Victim of a Construction Accident Can Expect To Be Compensated
If you have suffered as a victim of someone else’s negligence that led to a construction accident, you may be entitled to receive substantial compensation for one or more of the following elements of damage:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Counseling expenses due to the emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (in cases of wrongful death)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of services
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
- Various other forms of damages
What’s Needed For A Construction Accident Personal Injury Claim
Making a personal injury claim for a construction accident is not something you should attempt 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 a responsible party.
That usually requires working with an "expert witness" who has a thorough knowledge of the dangers encountered on a construction site and the safety rules that must be followed to make them safer. 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.
Many personal injury lawyers won't take on a construction site injury case because of the complicated immunity scheme applied to the construction industry. By contrast, our construction accident lawyers understand the laws and safety rules that apply to the construction industry and have successfully handled construction site accident cases and won multi-million dollar awards for injured construction workers. Even if another personal injury lawyer turned down your case, if you or someone you know has been seriously injured on a construction site, call an experienced construction accident lawyer at Hannon Legal Group for a free evaluation of your case. Call (305) 358-3109 today.