Construction Injury Attorneys in Pensacola
There are few jobs in America that are more dangerous than working on a construction site. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 150,000 construction site injuries occur annually, and roughly 1,000 construction workers are killed in workplace accidents each year. In Florida alone, construction accidents account for more than 40% of all work-related fatalities.
At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we have more than six decades of combined experience standing up for workers injured in construction accidents in Florida and Alabama. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we have a proven track record of success in even the most complex workplace injury cases. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll these types of injuries have on victims and their families, and we do everything we can to ensure that the legal process is smooth and seamless.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents in Florida
Those in the construction industry work regularly with heavy equipment and machinery, and they are often working at a rapid pace and in higher elevations. With these types of conditions, accidents are prone to happen. Some of the most common accidents that occur on construction sites include:
- Scaffolding and Ladder Accidents: Ladders and scaffolds are needed to give workers access to higher elevations. However, when one of these items is not placed properly, it can create a danger of workers falling. When workers slip and fall from high places, they are susceptible to serious injury. In fact, roughly 40% of all construction-related fatalities are due to slips and falls.
- Loose/Falling Objects: Debris and other loose objects are commonplace on a construction site. This is a major reason that workers are supposed to wear hardhats. Even with this type of protection, one out of 10 construction-related injuries results from being struck by a loose or falling object.
- Overexertion: Many construction workers perform the same task repeatedly for several hours at a time without changing their physical position. This can lead to overexertion and repetitive stress injuries in various parts of the body.
- Mechanical Failures: Bulldozers, cranes, hoists, and other heavy equipment and machinery is used all the time at construction sites. When these machines fail, workers are often at the mercy of what the machine will do next. Mechanical failures are very dangerous; some are the result of product defects, while others may be caused by lack of proper maintenance or reckless use.
- Misuse of Tools: On a typical construction site, you have numerous employees and subcontractors working in close quarters and wielding heavy tools around. When someone is not as careful as they should be with their tools, others nearby can get seriously injured.
- Electrical Accidents: Any new building needs to be wired before construction is completed. Electrical wiring can be dangerous, however, especially when workers inadvertently run across it. This can cause electrocutions resulting in serious injuries.
- Fires and Explosions: Another common hazard on a job site is working in proximity to flammable materials. This can cause result in explosions, fires, and similar incidents.
- Exposure to Toxic/Hazardous Substances: Construction sites often contain numerous hazardous substances, such as dust, fumes, and gases. These substances can be very harmful to workers, especially if they are not wearing the proper protective gear.
- Truck Accidents: Many of the accidents in the construction industry do not occur at the job site. They happen while drivers are transporting materials to and from the site. Many times, construction drivers are under pressure to move the materials in and out quickly, causing them to cut corners and take more chances.
- Collapsing Structures: Various factors on a work site can result in a structure collapsing. This does not happen as often as other types of construction accidents, but when it does happen, it can result in multiple injuries and fatalities.
There are a number of reasons why construction accidents occur. Some may be due to weather conditions on the job site, such as heavy winds, rain, etc. creating adverse conditions. Others are preventable and occur because of issues such as insufficient training, failure to take the appropriate safety precautions, and carelessness.
Construction accidents can cause some very severe and catastrophic injuries, such as:
- Head or Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Shoulder and Back Injuries
- Vision and Hearing Loss
- Severe Burns
- Internal Bleeding
- Severe Illnesses (due to toxic chemical exposure)
- Wrongful Death
Legal Options for Construction Accident Injuries
When an employee is injured at a construction site, there are several possible ways to obtain just compensation for their injuries. These include:
- Workers’ Compensation: The first legal recourse for most workplace accidents is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ comp is a system that pays benefits to workers who are injured or become ill on the job regardless of fault (with a few exceptions). Workers’ compensation pays for medical bills, two-thirds of your gross wages while out of work, and rehabilitation costs. You may also be able to receive additional compensation if suffered a temporary or permanent partial or total disability.
- No Workers’ Compensation Insurance: In Florida, employers with four or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In the construction industry, however, employers with one or more employee must carry it. This means that your employer most likely has workers’ comp insurance. If they do not, then you may be able to sue your employer directory for damages resulting from your injury.
- Personal Injury Claim against a Third Party: On a construction site, there are numerous subcontractors working alongside each other. When an accident occurs, there is a chance that a third-party subcontractor is responsible. If this is the case, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the subcontractor who is responsible.
- Product Liability Action: If the accident resulted from a faulty or defective product, you may have a product liability case against the manufacturer of the product and/or its seller/distributor.
Speak with a Skilled Pensacola Construction Accidents Lawyer
Construction-related injuries can be very severe, often resulting in temporary or permanent disability. These cases can be very complicated, however, and it can be difficult to determine which legal avenue is best to pursue. At the Law Offices of Whibbs, Stone & Barnett, P.A., we understand the complexities of construction accident cases, and what it takes to ensure that those responsible (for these accidents) are held fully accountable. For a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, contact us today at 850-500-1111.