Construction sites are inherently dangerous places, and workers in this industry are exposed to hazards daily as a part of their jobs. When construction accidents do occur, the injuries these workers sustain can be serious and potentially life-threatening. While workers’ compensation may be available to offset some of their lost wages and medical expenses, injured workers may be entitled to additional amounts through personal injury claims.
Common Types of Construction Accidents and Injuries
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the construction industry has one of the highest rates for on-the-job accidents. Nearly 5,000 construction workers are killed each year while thousands of others suffer serious injuries. Certain types of potentially life-threatening hazards are so commonplace on construction sites that OSHA refers to them as ‘the fatal four’:
- Slip and fall accidents, which often happen while working at heights;
- Getting struck by or against objects or equipment;
- Electrocution due to exposure to live wiring;
- Getting caught in-between tools, construction vehicles, materials, and equipment.
These can result in broken bones, severe lacerations, amputations, or debilitating back, neck, and head injuries. While less severe, overuse, overexertion, and repetitive strain are other common hazards and can cause herniated discs, torn muscles and tendons, or other types of soft tissue injuries. Exposure to hazardous substances is also a concern and can result in occupational illnesses, such as chronic respiratory diseases and certain types of cancer.
Know Your Rights When it Comes to Filing a Claim
When on-the-job accidents happen in the construction industry, the injured party may have the option of filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Available through the Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), these can provide coverage of medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages while you recover from your injuries. However, obtaining these benefits can prove challenging and not all construction workers are eligible to file a claim.
When construction site injuries occur due to the negligence of an employer, manager, manufacturer, or other party involved, you may have the right to file a lawsuit against them. This can entitle you to additional types of compensation not available through a workers’ compensation claim. Under the Florida Statutes, this includes:
- Economic damages, which cover your current medical costs and lost income as well as any future expenses and losses in earnings you are likely to incur;
- Non-economic damages, which cover intangible costs, such as the pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment in life you experience as a result of your construction accident or injuries;
- Punitive damages, which is an additional amount the judge may order in cases in which the at-fault party was particularly negligent.
Get Legal Guidance From Our Fort Myers Construction Accident Attorney
You have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover after a construction accident. Before accepting less than what you are entitled to in a claim, reach out to the Bernardo Law Firm first. To discuss your options, contact our Fort Myers construction accident attorney and request a consultation today.