Orlando Construction Lawyer

Among the most dangerous fields in which you can work is construction. One mistake or misstep can have disastrous consequences, causing serious injuries or even fatalities.

 Construction companies, property managers, equipment manufacturers, and other workers in the immediate area have a responsibility to make sure the work site is as safe as possible, and each party must play their own part in that process. When one of these entities fails to meet its obligations and its negligence causes an accident, the injured party may have cause to pursue compensation for damages, which can be extensive. 

Common Construction Injuries in Florida

Many injuries that occur on construction sites are handled by Florida workers’ compensation laws. Some of these injuries can be quite severe — even deadly. According to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), construction fatalities comprise around 20 percent of all workplace deaths. In Florida alone, 306 construction deaths occurred in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 Workers can suffer a multitude of personal injuries on a construction site. Some examples include:

  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries, such as those suffered in a fall or being struck in the head by an object
  • Burns and other injuries suffered in a fire or explosion
  • Broken bones, fractures, or sprains from slips or falls
  • Cuts or lacerations from equipment or machinery
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, which can cause asthma, cancer, and other chronic diseases
  • Serious back or spine injuries, and even paralysis, as a result of being struck or crushed by heavy equipment or machinery
  • Mental anguish and pain and suffering as a result of being injured or experiencing trauma 

Reasons for Accidents

Most accidents that take place on construction sites in Florida fall into what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration calls “the fatal four,” which include: falls, electrocutions, workers struck by objects or caught in or between equipment, and collapsing structures or materials. The following are just some of the causes that can contribute to these types of accidents:

 Inadequate protective equipment. Employers are supposed to provide employees with appropriate safety gear, including fall protection systems, respirators, hardhats, and other protective equipment that is necessary. In some cases, however, employers fail to provide such protections, sometimes in their attempt to reduce overhead costs on a particular project. By failing to comply with these standards, the employer may be in violation of OSHA policies, which can leave them liable for compensation if an employee or bystander is hurt on the construction site as a result.

  • Site safety violations. Construction companies and property managers are also responsible for maintaining an overall safe working environment. In some cases, both employers and property owners can be held liable for damages that happen as a result of an accident on a construction site, as long as it is proven that they failed to secure the job site. As some examples, employers must post proper signage around large holes and other hazards, and they need to properly block off construction sites in order to protect motorists and pedestrians.
  • Failure to train employees. OSHA requires employers to provide safety training to all employees. If an employer fails to do so, that may be cause for negligence. However, proving that lack of training caused a particular accident can be difficult. In some cases, you may be able to pursue compensation from a third party if your job training is at issue for your accident — for instance, from another vendor who is working on the job site.
  • Improperly maintained equipment. Employers are also responsible for equipment maintenance, and they have to perform periodic safety inspections on machinery, tools, and other equipment. An employer who uses a crane, for example, needs to make sure that it is working properly, that the components are all functioning, and that they do not pose a safety risk. If an employer fails to maintain equipment, they may be held liable if their failure results in an accident.
  • Equipment malfunction. Another common source of construction accidents is equipment malfunction. In some cases, when this occurs, the manufacturer may be held liable, as long as the injured party can prove that the accident was caused by an equipment defect.
  • Third-party negligence. Oftentimes, a construction site is teeming with many different entities. There may be general contractors and subcontractors; there may also be employees of various vendors, all of them involved in the construction. As long as your accident was a direct consequence of the negligence of one of these parties, you may be able to recover for the damages you suffered as a result.
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Recovering for Your Injuries in a Construction Accident

If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you may be able to recover from damages. Personal injuries in a construction accident can run the gamut, from minor injuries to extremely serious ones. The first thing you should do is seek medical help—even if you believe your injuries are minor, you need to consult with a medical professional and obtain important documentation in the process.

If your Florida construction accident occurred on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. In Florida, you may receive medical and rehabilitative benefits, as well as income benefits to replace your income if you cannot work. You should report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, and no later than 30 days after it happens. Within seven days of receiving notice of your injuries, your employer must report them to their insurance company. You should also consider consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Florida, who can help you navigate the complex process of recovery.

If you were injured on a construction site as a passerby or in another non-working role, you may have a claim for negligence against the construction company, the operator of the construction site, or even an involved third party. To prove negligence, you will need to focus on a breach of the duty of reasonable care, which directly caused your injuries. An Orlando construction law attorney can help ascertain important facts and connect them to the legal issues in your negligence case.

FVF Can Help

The causes of construction site accidents are many and varied. Identifying the circumstances that contributed to your accident, the various parties involved, and their responsibilities under the law typically take the expertise of a seasoned Orlando construction lawyer. Our attorneys who specialize in these cases can help you understand your rights and your likelihood of receiving compensation from various sources. Contact us if you would like to schedule a free consultation.

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