Construction Accident Injuries
Construction workers have a deserved reputation for being both gritty and tough, able to put in long hours of strenuous labor. That doesn’t mean these workers are immune from injury due to construction accidents or that they should be ashamed of seeking compensation for those injuries.
Our Fort Lauderdale construction accident attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm recognize there are two primary types of damages you can pursue in these cases:
- Workers’ compensation;
- Third-party litigation.
The viability of your claim and the potential amount you can receive will depend on the type of construction accident injury you have sustained and the degree to which it has impaired your ability to work, both immediately and long-term.
We understand the complexities of both types of claims, and the importance of collecting ample medical evidence and medical expert witness testimony. This begins with the worker/ client receiving prompt medical care, regular follow-ups and proper documentation of these visits. You may be asked at some point to undergo an independent medical exam, either by the workers’ compensation insurer or the defendant in third-party litigation. Having this early documentation of your medical condition immediately and regularly after your accident will help bolster your claim.Types of Injuries in Florida Construction Accidents
The types of injuries construction workers sustain depend greatly on the kind of work one is doing. Carpenters and electricians will face different injury risks than welders, masons and general laborers.
In general though, our injury attorneys have identified some patterns when it comes to injuries that construction workers are most likely to sustain in the course of their employment. These include:
- Broken, fractured or crushed bones. We see this often in falls, but also when working with heavy machinery. Cranes, bulldozers and other equipment have the potential to be harmful if not properly secured or operated. Falls from scaffolding, roofs and ladders can also result in bone fractures.
- Amputated limb or digit. Workers are at high risk of losing fingers, toes or even an arm or leg if they equipment malfunctions or traps them. Motor vehicle accidents also are a root cause of construction accident amputation, as are falls from heights and being struck by falling objects.
- Head injuries. Falling objects are one of the listed “fatal four” in construction accident catalysts. Even workers who dutifully wear hard hats aren’t immune to head injuries. Falling objects may include tools or building materials. Workers may also be at risk of head injuries if they themselves fall, particularly from a certain height.
- Cuts and lacerations. Poorly-maintained or defective tools, exposed nails, unsecured machinery – all these have been cited in puncture injuries.
- Heat stroke. This is especially a problem for workers in South Florida. OSHA reports workers can be at risk of heat stroke both due to environmental conditions (i.e., high temperature and humidity, contact with hot objects, direct sun exposure with no shade, limited air movement/ ventilation), as well as job-specific conditions, like physical exertion or the use of bulky clothing.
- Hearing loss. Building equipment and heavy machinery (such as jackhammers) can produce loud noise that can be damaging to one’s hear drums, particularly over an extended period of time and particularly for those workers who fail to wear/ are never given protective earplugs.
- Vision loss. Construction workers who are exposed to on-site chemicals, dusts or gases may be at risk of vision loss. Those who suffer falls or are struck by objects may also be at risk of losing their site, depending on the nature of the impact.
- Spinal cord injuries/ paralysis. Construction workers who fall from heights are usually the most at risk for spinal cord injuries, which can result in paralysis and lifelong disability. Many victims also have some form of brain damage too.
- Stress injuries. Certain construction jobs require a great deal of repetitive motion for workers. They are constantly bending, lifting, twisting, squatting or stretching in ways that may put their bodies at risk for injury in the long-term, leaving workers unable to continue in the same field.
- Burns/ scarring. Workers on construction sites may be at risks of exposure to fire or explosions, as well as electrocution hazards (one of OSHA’s “fatal four” in the construction industry). Many of these incidents are preventable with proper safety protocol and enforcement in place.
In work injuries that prevent you from returning to your job – in the short and long-term - you will be given a designation for compensation based on the severity and lasting nature of your injuries. There are a few categories:
- Temporary partial disability.
- Temporary total disability.
- Permanent partial disability.
- Permanent total disability.
- Death benefits.
These classifications are outlined and defined in F.S. 440.15 of Florida’s workers’ compensation law. The maximum weekly benefit for these will be mandated by the state and are changed periodically.
With third-party liability claims, similar considerations will be made with regard to damages, but you won’t be given an exact classification that must meet certain criteria. Damages generally aren’t capped, unless the defendant is a government agency.
Construction accident injuries can be devastating for workers, but you don’t have to navigate the legal process alone.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Fort Lauderdale construction accident, contact the wrongful death attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (888) ANSARA-8.