With population growth comes the need for construction, including building new residential spaces, office spaces, schools, parks, and modifying roadways to accommodate more traffic.

While construction is necessary, it is also one of the most dangerous industries, with workers required to work in proximity to traffic, heavy equipment, electricity, and other hazards.

If a construction accident injured you, a Clearwater construction accident lawyer can help you understand the legal process for seeking compensation for your injuries.

In some construction accident cases, injured workers can step outside the workers’ compensation system and file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages from a negligent third party. This is also the avenue for injured third parties such as individuals injured when passing by or driving through construction activities.

Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today to discuss your claim and recovery options.

What Causes Construction Accidents?

While the construction industry brings with it inherent danger, most of its injuries and fatalities involve just these four hazards:

Slip and Fall Accidents on a Construction Site

More than half of all workplace fatalities in the construction industry are the result of falls, and there are fall hazards present at nearly every construction site, including:

  • Building structures more than six feet tall and feature unprotected sides, leading edges, excavations, or walking and working surfaces. Required fall protection includes personal fall arrest systems and guardrails. Many falls occur as a result of broken or missing guardrails.
  • Exterior construction areas such as open excavations and pier holes.
  • Improperly installed temporary work platforms, such as scaffolds. Scaffolds must employ a properly constructed stairwell and guardrails if the scaffold is more than six feet tall.

Electrocution Injuries On Construction Site

Electrocution refers to death by electric shock caused by exposure to lethal amounts of electricity, and it is the third most common cause of fatal construction accidents.

Electrocution can occur due to contact with electricity from:

  • Power lines
  • Faulty equipment
  • Exposed wires
  • Improper extension cords

Death from electrocution can occur with as little as 50-100 milliamperes of electrical current. Most volt circuits carry 15 to 20 amperes of current—about 300 times more than the amount of electricity that can cause death.

Caught In

Approximately 16 percent of all workplace fatalities on construction sites involve a person caught between two objects.

Some of the most common causes of caught in accidents include:

  • Workers caught between cranes or heavy equipment and a stationary object such as a wall.
  • Tools or equipment, such as a worker’s hand caught in a tool that lacks a safety guard or clothing or jewelry caught in a tool’s moving parts.
  • Workers caught between a piece or stack of heavy materials and an immovable object such as a wall.
  • Workers trapped in collapsed trenches or excavations. This can include workers trapped between the side of a trench and a pipe or other object placed inside it.

Struck By

Being struck by an object is the cause of about a quarter of all fatal construction accidents. Struck by accidents include those that involve:

  • Falling objects when walking or working below elevated workspaces.
  • Flying objects as a result of power tools or activities including pushing, pulling, or prying objects, as well as striking or grinding two objects together. It is important to note that pressurized air at more than 30 psi is strong enough to push oils and particles into the skin.
  • Improperly loaded objects.
  • Heavy equipment, including trucks, dump trucks, or excavators. Struck by accidents can also include workers hit by cars in roadway work zones.

The Types of Injuries Associated with Construction Accidents

Construction accidents in Clearwater create some of the most serious, life-altering, and even life-ending injuries a person can suffer.

These injuries include:

Traumatic brain injuries

Falls, being struck by objects, and motor vehicle accidents (including accidents involving heavy equipment or those occurring in a work zone) are among the most common causes of this type of injury, which involves damage to the brain as a result of a blow to the head. The brain, while responsible for all the body’s functions and involuntary responses, has a limited ability to heal. Because of this, traumatic brain injuries often produce permanent deficits, including memory loss, the inability to move in a coordinated manner, vision loss, or difficulty controlling one’s emotions, behaviors, or impulses.

Spinal cord injuries

The spinal cord, along with the brain, makes up the body’s central nervous system. The cord’s bundle of nerves extends from the base of the skull to the waist and relays messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Like the brain, the spinal cord is limited in its healing ability, and spinal cord injuries often result in paralysis, a loss of sensation and function beneath the injury.

Broken bones, which can result from any construction accident.

While most bone fractures can heal within a matter of months with medical treatment, some can result in chronic pain, weakness, or loss of use of an affected limb.

Amputated limbs, resulting from being caught in accidents.

Injuries involving the spinal vertebrae or discs, which can result from falls or struck by accidents.

While these are generally not as serious and debilitating as spinal cord injuries, the vertebrae and discs serve an important purpose in the body’s ability to move and stability in the spine. Damage can result in instability, impairment of movement, and chronic pain.

Burns resulting from electrical injuries that involve damaged internal systems.

Chemical burns are also relatively common at construction sites in Clearwater from contact with acids.

Seeking Compensation after a Construction Accident

Florida’s worker’s compensation program pays for most construction accidents. However, if your injury involved an employer that failed to maintain the required worker’s compensation insurance, was caused by a third party, or you were injured as a passerby at a construction site or roadway construction work zone, you would seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

If You Were Injured as a Worker

In Florida, all construction companies that employ more than one worker must provide a worker’s compensation policy for employees. This no-fault insurance provides benefits for injured workers, regardless of fault for the accident. You don’t need to prove that your injury resulted from the negligence of your employer or coworker.

The benefits that are available through worker’s compensation include:

  • Medical treatment of your workplace injury.
  • Wage replacement, including wages for injuries that create a temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, or permanent total or partial disability.
  • Death benefits for the worker’s family members if the worker dies of a work-related injury within one year of the accident or five years of a continuous disability. These benefits include funeral expenses of up to $7,500 and compensation for dependents and education benefits for the deceased worker’s spouse.

Third-Party Workplace Injuries

Third-party workplace accidents involve injuries to a worker that a negligent third party (someone who is not your employer or co-worker) caused.

Examples of third-party construction accidents include:

  • Injuries to a subcontractor’s employee that resulted from a negligent general contractor or the employee of another sub-contractor working on the site.
  • Injuries resulting from a negligent driver who strikes a construction worker within a work zone.

Injuries to Passersby

Not all construction accidents involve construction industry employees. Flying or falling objects can also injure passersby, as can falling into unprotected trenches or excavations, or transportation accidents with heavy equipment in work zones.

The Type of Compensation Available Through a Construction Accident Lawsuit

If your construction accident was the result of third-party liability, a Clearwater construction accident attorney can help you seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit that includes:

  • Medical expenses
  • Wage loss
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

The Personal Injury Claims Process

The personal injury claims process initially involves your skilled construction accident lawyer in Clearwater submitting a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurer. This package provides details of the accident, documentation of the expenses you have incurred, and a demand for the full value of your claim.

When the at-fault party’s insurer receives your construction accident claim, they have three options:

  1. Admit the liability of their insured and process the claim for payment.
  2. Deny the claim and provide the reason for denial in a notification to the claimant.
  3. Admit liability, but offer to settle the claim for less than the demand.

If the insurer denies the claim, you and your capable Clearwater attorney can file a construction accident lawsuit. If the insurer offers a settlement, this often begins the process of settlement negotiations, where your lawyer will make a counteroffer and there will be a back-and-forth until both sides can agree on a settlement amount or other provisions.

The statute of limitations for filing a construction accident lawsuit in Clearwater is generally two years after the date occurs. If settlement negotiations stall, you and your attorney may determine that it is time to file your lawsuit in court. Settlement negotiations can continue after you file your lawsuit. Many times, filing a lawsuit is the catalyst for the insurance provider to take negotiations seriously and avoid the expenses and uncertain outcomes of litigation.

While your proactive construction accident lawyer in Clearwater continues to work on obtaining a fair settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurer, they will also begin preparing to present your claim in court by gathering the evidence and witness testimony needed to prove liability, expenses, and impacts. Settlement negotiations can continue until the court decides the case. Contact Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today for more information.

Proving Liability in a Construction Accident Claim

If your injury involved a workplace accident that worker’s compensation covers, you don’t need to prove liability to receive benefits.

However, the insurance company could still deny your claim because:

  • Your employer claims that the accident occurred because you intentionally injured yourself to receive benefits.
  • The accident occurred because of horseplay, drugs, or alcohol.
  • The employer does not believe that the injury occurred at work.

If your injury occurred at work and your employer did not have the required worker’s compensation policy, you may use the civil court system to seek compensation from the employer. As previously stated, the personal injury claims process compensates for third-party injuries.

To prove that a third party is liable for your injury, you must show:

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty to take reasonable actions to protect your safety.
  • The at-fault party breached this duty by taking actions that failed to protect you from injury.
  • This breach resulted in a Clearwater construction accident that injured you and left you with impacts and expenses.

Common Mistakes After Suffering Injuries From A Construction Accident

You might feel incredibly lost after your accident. You might not know what to do next. We want to help you understand some of the things you should avoid doing if you want to ensure that you have the best possible chance at success. Here are some common claim mistakes to avoid making.

How To Avoid A Mistake in Your Construction Accident Claim

Waiting to See a Doctor

Too many people want to try to wait and see if their condition improves because they don’t want to pay for the emergency room. This is a terrible mistake. Not only are you risking your condition worsening, but you are almost guaranteed to raise the suspicions of the insurance company. The insurance company is looking for any reason to offer you less money than what you deserve.

If you do not go to the doctor right away, no matter how bad of pain you are in, the insurance company can say that you are lying about how badly hurt you are. We want to avoid you losing out on the compensation that you deserve simply because you did not go to the doctor right away. You should not let yourself suffer more than you have to. This is so important because construction accident injuries tend to be quite severe. The longer you go without treatment, the worse it will likely get for you.

Ignoring Advice from the Doctor

Following your first visit at an urgent care or emergency room, you are likely to get advice from your doctors. You may even be told you need follow-up care. You need to make every effort to follow all advice. If you do not, you are putting your health at risk. This is going to make your recovery take longer. Also, when you ignore advice from your doctor, it is often reflected in your medical charts.

For example, if you did not go to physical therapy as per your doctor’s advice, then this will be an indicator to the insurance company that they can use this information against you. They will hop on any opportunity to say that you are not as badly hurt as you say you are. To them, ignoring advice from your doctor means you lied about how badly hurt you claim to be.

When in reality, the reason you missed a physical therapy appointment was because you did not have childcare or a ride to the physical therapy center. The reason why does not matter to them. It is a way to reduce the claim value. Do everything that you can to follow all advice you get from your doctor.

Talking about the Accident with the Insurance Company

Something you should learn right away about these cases is that the insurance company is not there to help you get full compensation. They see your case as an expense that they would like to reduce. That means giving you low ball offers for your compensation award and hoping you are going to blindly accept it. The insurance companies will likely reach out to you after your accident to try to discuss what happened.

You should never provide a recorded statement to them. They get these recorded statements to use against you as evidence. They have special training to get you to say things that will end up harming your claim. We cannot express enough how much of a mistake it would be to give these insurance companies a recorded statement. You deserve to have your rights to justice protected. Giving a statement to them about the accident gives them every opportunity to twist your words which can destroy your case.

Let your lawyers handle communication with the insurance company so you never have to worry about saying the wrong thing to them and risk ruining your claim. When they call and ask to get a statement from you, no matter how helpful they sound on the phone, tell them no and hang up. You are within your rights to refuse.

Hesitating to Call a Lawyer

You may believe that your case begins and ends with workers’ compensation. You might be stuck thinking that whatever compensation you get from the employer’s insurance to cover your damages is all your case is worth. You should always talk to a lawyer when you are hurt in an accident that you did not cause. We would rather you meet with us for a free consultation to find out whether or not you have a case rather than potentially miss out on getting the compensation you deserve.

You should never be too afraid to ask. We are always here to set up your first consultation with us totally for free. You can get your questions answered. We can guide you through the steps of the case. Do not delay reaching out to a knowledgeable construction injury lawyer in Clearwater.

Get in Touch With a Clearwater Construction Accident Attorney

If a construction accident injured you, let a construction accident attorney answer your legal questions and help you understand your options for seeking compensation. For your free case evaluation, contact us. Perenich Law Injury Attorneys is here to help.

When you have been involved in a construction accident, it can feel like your life is over. You may be watching the medical bills pile up while you continue to miss work. These accidents can have you wondering if your life will ever be the same. A Clearwater construction accident lawyer is here to help you get the justice you deserve after you have been seriously injured.

We know the struggles that people go through after having been involved in an accident on a construction site. Workers’ compensation hardly ever covers all of the costs of an accident as severe as these. You deserve more. Let us help guide you to justice. If you have been injured due to negligence or carelessness of a third party, we will do everything necessary to bring the case against the liable party.

Perenich Law injury Attorneys

Perenich Law injury Attorneys N/a
25749 US Hwy 19 N
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(727) 669-2828