One only needs to look at the statistics to know that construction workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. In 2014, the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that almost 13 of every 100,000 full-time workers were injured on a construction site. The bureau also disclosed that Florida experienced the second-highest number of construction accidents in the country between 2011 and 2013 with approximately 158.
Florida workers’ compensation law enables virtually all employees who are injured on the job to collect medical benefits, regardless of fault. However, some employers improperly classify workers as independent contractors in hopes that they can avoid paying workers’ compensation insurance. If you believe this to be the case and have concerns about your eligibility for pursuing compensation after a sustaining a serious work injury, we urge you to contact our firm at 954-767-6500 to request a free meeting with a Fort Lauderdale construction accident lawyer. Our firm can help you establish your employee standing so you can receive the proper benefits.
Third Party Construction Accident Claims
There is another source of compensation that allows injured employees to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against someone other than their employers. In many cases, someone other than (or in addition to) the employer – a third party – may have done something negligent to cause the construction worker’s job site injury.
- If a faulty piece of machinery caused serious wounds, the manufacturer may be liable through a defective product lawsuit; even if it is owned by the employer.
- If the owner of the property, or the site’s developer, did not provide safe working conditions, either or both could be a liable defendant.
- If a contractor or another employee who was allowed on the job site negligently caused the injury, they too could be legally blamed.
Many construction site injuries involve multiple third-party contributors to a construction site accident. With so many other contractors and subcontractors scurrying around the job site, accidents are bound to happen. And because they don’t employ you, workers’ compensation is a moot issue.
So if a scaffold collapses and you are injured, the company that built the scaffolding could be liable through a defective product lawsuit, or maybe the workers employed by the scaffolding’s owner assembled it improperly.
The bottom line is that you may have options in addition to workers’ compensation to seek fair payment for damages from your construction site injury. Our local construction accident injury lawyers assist you in identifying all likely defendants in your case.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits Affect Third-Party Damage Awards
Worker’s compensation is always the first avenue of reimbursement and must be pursued before claims against any negligent third party can begin. And worker’s compensation benefits are primarily limited to economic damages (medical bills and disability compensation). There are, however, several additional damages available to injured third-party plaintiffs, which may include:
- All income lost for the time you spent recuperating;
- Full value of your diminished earning capacity if the injury produces long-term disability (workers’ compensation only pays a percentage of short and long-term lost income);
- All of your medical-related expenses that workers’ compensation may not cover, such as transportation costs to and from doctor visits;
- Property damage;
- Physical pain, suffering and discomfort; and
- Mental or emotional distress due to the injury.
And if a loved one was killed in a workplace accident, additional third-party special damages can include funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and possibly other damages.
Experience and the ability to investigate not only the accident scene but the roles each third parties played in a construction accident is very important in identifying fault. Contact the Montero Law Center for a free consultation at 954-767-6500, email info@monterolaw or click here fill out our case evaluation form.