With new developments, high-rises, hotels and tourist attractions being built all the time, Miami’s skyline and landscape is constantly under construction. The natural result of this is that accidents are going to happen. While most construction accident cases in Miami and South Florida enable injured workers to seek only workers’ compensation benefits, many others involve defective products or negligence by people other than employers and co-workers.
According to OSHA, more than 5,000 people died on the job in 2018. Every single one of these deaths is a tragedy. Even if someone does not die on the job, but is only injured, it can take a strong toll on the construction worker. Construction accidents happen every day. Miami is constantly moving with new businesses, new buildings, and new opportunities for everyone. That involves a lot of construction, which unfortunately means major construction accidents.
At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we are committed to helping those in need. If you have suffered a serious construction accident or injury on a work site in the Miami or South Florida area, we can help you. Find out what your legal rights are and what legal measures can be taken.
Call our experienced construction accident attorneys today at 305-662-6178. Learn more about construction accident and injury lawsuits below.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
The construction industry is known for the ‘Fatal Four’. They are as follows:
- Struck by object
- Being caught in between or being crushed under a collapsing structure
These accidents are the most fatal, and collectively comprise more than half of all construction site accident deaths. That being said, there are many more sources of injuries on construction sites. Read the following to understand more potential sources of injuries:
- Unsecured tools
- Improper rigging in crane loads
- Unbalanced stacking of work materials
- Slick surfaces
- Ledges with no guardrails
- Debris and tripping hazards
- Defective ladders
- Poorly constructed scaffolding
- Wires with electrical currents
Construction Accident Claims
The legal system allows for people to seek compensation if they have been injured. If a loved one has been killed, then the family can also seek justice in a court of law. This is a civil case, not a criminal one. This means that the state is not actively trying to punish someone. Rather, it means that someone is suing someone else because they believe that something wrong has been done to them. There is no jail time as a result.
There are a few different options that you have in front of you. Usually, you can offer a settlement. The downside of this is that usually this provides less compensation for the injured party. The benefit of this is that the money is guaranteed, as you are not leaving it up to a judge or a jury. Both parties have to agree on a monetary sum, however.
If you do not agree, you would need to pursue the case in court. There is a process of discovery. This means that both parties are going to be collecting all of the information that they possibly can. This would include hospital bills, the accident report forms, and much more.
What You Should Do After a Construction Accident
The first thing that you should do is report the accident. Many construction workers get nervous at this step, as they fear retaliation. We are here to tell you that you should not be afraid of filing a safety incident report. Any retaliation from your employer is going to look bad in court, and it might help you get a better claim.
The second thing that you should do is to seek witnesses. The easiest way to do this is write down the names and addresses of anyone who saw the incident. It is better to do this as soon as possible, as memories fade and witnesses could be influenced by external factors. When you secure their cooperation soon, it helps you give a more accurate picture of what happened.
The third thing you need to do is to seek medical care. After you have been hurt, you don’t need to be the tough guy, and impress anyone. Even if you don’t think you have been injured, it is still a good idea to go to a doctor, because some injuries do not show up until a few days later. A medical record is very persuasive in the court, and it helps you understand exactly how much compensation you would need.
The final thing that you need to do is to call an experienced attorney. From there, you do not really need to worry about it. Our team can take it from there, and keep you updated every step of the way.
In Florida, there are a few different levels of workers compensation. A temporary total disability claim gives you time off work as you recover from your work-related injury. You do not get these benefits for the first seven days off unless your injury keeps you from working for more than three weeks. These benefits are two-thirds of your weekly wage, up to a legal maximum that is changed every year. For some injuries, the benefit rate is higher. This continues until your doctor says you can go back to work, your doctor says that your condition won’t improve, or you have reached the maximum amount of time. The maximum amount of time is two years.
After six weeks, your doctor will evaluate you to determine if you have a lasting medical condition or impairment. If you have a lasting medical condition or impairment, the doctor will assign a percentage to you to calculate how long your permanent impairment benefits will last.
If a doctor finds that you have a permanent disability that keeps you from doing any job, including a sedentary one, you will be eligible to receive total disability benefits until you are 75 years old.
If you are a victim of a construction worker accident and you are looking for workers’ compensation, then you need to call us today.
Third Party Personal Injury Cases
As a construction worker, you have a relationship with your employer. But your employer also has a relationship with the person who was hiring them. Under certain circumstances, an injured construction worker is able to sue them as well. This means that you may be entitled to additional compensation, which can help you recover.
If you have any questions about who we are or what we do, feel free to call us today. We are ready to fight for your rights.
Given the extreme working conditions and inherent dangers of construction work, construction workers are at risk for serious injury every day. But even supposedly minor injuries can end a construction career if, for example, a worker can no longer climb a ladder or has lost balance or strength.
At Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we take on construction accident cases in the Miami area and throughout South Florida, representing construction workers that have been injured on the job. Our construction worker injury attorneys handle all negotiations with those responsible and litigate at every level of Florida’s state and federal courts. We have a strong record of verdicts and negotiated settlements that have made a difference in the lives of many seriously injured clients.
More On Construction Accident & Injury Case Types
Our construction accident practice includes cases involving:
1. Construction Injuries
- Head Injuries from scaffolding falls, falling objects and excavation cave-ins. Head injuries include traumatic brain injury (TBI), closed head injury, skull fractures and concussions. The effects of serious head and brain injuries can include problems with speech and reasoning, mood swings or changes in temperament, headache, dizziness, fatigue, poor memory and concentration, balance problems, blurred vision and ringing in the ears.
- Back & Spinal Cord Injuries from falls, accidents with trucks or heavy equipment or trench collapses. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or full paralysis (quadriplegia, paraplegia) and loss of bowel and bladder control and sexual functions. Less extreme back injuries can result in severe and ongoing pain, loss of range of motion, and an inability to lift.
- Bone Fractures, particularly of joints, can result in impaired range of movement, inability to stand for long periods and ongoing pain and can cause early-onset arthritis. In the worst cases, a serious fracture can result in amputation.
- Electrical Injuries from exposed live wires or defective construction equipment can result in severe burns, brain damage and, often, death.
2. Construction Falls
Falls at work are one of the most common ways that construction workers are seriously injured or killed. A fall from a height or into a hole can cause broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and many other serious and long-lasting injuries.
Construction falls are quite prevalent, and can be devastating. Scaffolds for example are among the dangerous items used in the construction industry that cause a great percentage of injuries due to falls. About 65 percent of construction workers must use scaffolds as part of their job, and about 4,500 people are injured on them every year.
If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed in a fall at a construction site in Miami, Panter, Panter & Sampedro, can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover.
After most construction accident falls, an injured worker is eligible to seek only workers’ compensation benefits for medical costs and lost wages. In many cases, however, negligence by someone other than an employer or co-worker causes serious injuries to workers.
The serious injuries that can result from construction accident falls often require extended medical attention and rehabilitation for long-lasting and sometimes permanent injuries. Our law firm has an on-staff critical care nurse who arranges for clients to receive the very best care and assists us in evaluating injuries.
- Scaffolding Falls
- Falls From Unsecured Ladders
- Injuries Caused By Falling Objects or Debris
3. Crane Accidents
Cranes are among the most useful pieces of machinery as buildings are constructed and refurbished across the Florida skyline. Unfortunately for construction workers, cranes are also a major cause of injuries.
Crane accidents happen for many reasons. They may be improperly maintained or be defective. Workers may not have been properly trained to use the crane or to work around the crane, with tragic results. Construction laborers, electricians, welders and many other workers are at risk of serious injury or death from crane accidents.
We use our deep knowledge of Florida personal injury law, a wide range of medical and other experts, and state-of-the-art technology to create compelling explanations of how and why crane accidents happen. Backed by the results of our thorough investigation and analysis, we represent clients in negotiations with insurers and other at-fault parties. When negotiations do not produce a fair settlement for our clients, we represent them at all stages of litigation in federal and state courts in Florida.
Our results speak for themselves. In one case, we were able to obtain a $3.6 million verdict for two men who were working as temporary employees at a Miami construction site. The men were seriously injured when a crane operator accidentally allowed the crane on his cable to touch an electrical line.
On a job site, construction workers must rely on the safe and careful work of other contractors and workers as electrical injuries can happen when a worker or contractor is negligent. A worker may drill into an unmarked power line. Someone may lean a tool against a live wire that was left unprotected. Although construction workers are most likely to suffer electrical injuries, they can happen to anyone.
A serious electrical burn can cause severe physical and emotional trauma, with injuries that can result in lifelong disfigurement. A victim of an electrical injury may suffer burns and severe scarring. The current may cause heart failure and death. The most devastating aspect of these injuries is that they often don’t just happen on their own, but because someone was negligent.
6. Subcontractor or Contractor Negligence
Legal Knowledge & Expert Resources To Prove Your Construction Accident Case
Whether you were injured because a subcontractor’s employee failed to secure a ladder or a concrete mixer malfunctioned, our Miami construction accident attorneys will investigate and prepare your case carefully, so we can aggressively litigate the case. To accomplish this, we work with a variety of experts and use state-of-the-art technology and courtroom exhibits to clearly demonstrate to insurance companies and juries exactly how and why the accident occurred. We also have an on-staff critical care nurse to assist us in evaluating injuries and arranging for clients to receive the best medical care available.
With the assessment of our nurse and other medical experts as a starting point, we thoroughly investigate our cases so that we can seek maximum compensation from ALL responsible parties.
If you or someone you love was hurt on a construction job site and you know or suspect that certain individuals or organizations were at fault, contact our office at 305-662-6178 to talk with an attorney.