Construction sites have substantial accident potential, particularly when workers do not adhere to vital safety precautions. Injuries on a construction site can quickly prove catastrophic: burns, chemical exposure, falls from great heights, and dangerous crushing injuries, for example. When someone else’s negligence leads to a severe construction site accident, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Speak with a Tampa construction accident lawyer about your case today.
Perenich Law Injury Attorneys Can Help Tampa Construction Accident Victims Pursue Compensation
If you suffer injuries in a Tampa construction accident, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against the entity that caused your accident and your injuries. However, many construction accident victims do not know whom they need to file a lawsuit against or what steps they need to take to move forward with that claim.
Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can help you.
We have helped past victims of construction accidents recover considerable compensation for injuries sustained due to contractor negligence, including:
- A $2.1 million combined settlement against a general contractor who failed to properly maintain a pedestrian walkway, leading to the DUI death of a twelve-year-old boy
- $685,000 awarded to the victim of a semi-tractor truck at a concrete mixing plant
Our past claim results do not guarantee the compensation you can recover for a construction accident claim. However, our experienced team of attorneys works to maximize the compensation you can recover and increase the odds of a successful resolution to your claim.
Get all the facts about your construction site accident.
As part of your construction site accident claim, you need to have all the facts about what caused or contributed to your accident: the specific elements that led to your injuries and the entities that may bear liability for your injuries.
Often, construction site accidents involve a complex web of liability since multiple parties may share liability for the incident. Because of the dangers inherent on many construction sites, you may need additional support as you move forward with your construction accident claim.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our experienced Tampa construction accident attorneys look into all those critical details of your case to give you a better idea of exactly what happened and, as a result, who may share liability for your accident and your injuries.
Seek the compensation you really deserve for your construction site accident injuries.
Many construction site accident victims in Tampa find themselves fighting to get the full compensation they deserve, in part because they may not know exactly how much compensation they should expect for those injuries. Insurance companies frequently do not consider the victim’s best interests because they want to minimize their financial obligations as much as possible.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we work to protect the best interests of our clients, including taking a solid assessment of their financial and non-financial losses after a serious accident.
Negotiate more effectively.
Dealing with the insurance company can pose more headaches than it should. The insurance company may not work with you as effectively as you deserve, or you may find it difficult to navigate those difficult conversations and avoid accepting a lower offer than you deserve.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our construction accident lawyers in Tampa can take over those negotiations for you. Sometimes, our clients find insurance companies more willing to negotiate just because they have brought us on board.
Construction in Tampa, Florida
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 86,000 construction workers work in Tampa alone. Tampa is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, which means many opportunities for developing new constructions for more homes and offices. To complete so many construction projects, however, employers and contractors often take shortcuts that endanger workers and the public.
There are two main types of construction accidents in Tampa:
- Worker accidents
- Car accidents
Worker accidents include incidents that injure a construction worker. Often, these accidents occur from falls, faulty electricity on the worksite, or equipment malfunctions. Car accidents often occur when construction workers or others driving past the construction site aren’t paying attention and hit another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a construction worker.
Any type of construction accident can be devastating. Most construction accidents lead to severe injuries for those involved, leading to lost time at work and high medical bills. After a construction accident, you know how devastating it can feel to lack any hope of a quick and affordable recovery.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys in Tampa, Florida, our diligent attorneys do all we can to help people like you recover after construction accidents and get back to living a normal life. You can always get in touch with us for more information, but to start, let’s take a look at some frequent concerns victims of construction accidents face.
What Counts as a Construction Accident in Tampa?
Generally, any accident on a construction site is a construction accident. These types of accidents almost always lead to serious injury or death.
In Tampa, here are some common construction accidents that you may encounter:
- Vehicle crashes involving trucks, forklifts, cranes, etc.
- Falls from scaffolding, cranes, or other equipment.
- Burns from equipment or machinery.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Electrocution or burns due to faulty electrical equipment or safety practices.
- Being crushed by falling equipment or other machinery.
- Blunt force trauma from falling objects.
The above list is not exhaustive; many other accidents can occur on construction sites. No matter what type of accident you’re involved in, it’s crucial to seek medical and legal help immediately.
Common Causes of Construction Accidents
Tampa construction accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. The cause of the construction accident may determine who bears liability for the incident, so understanding the real cause of your accident can prove critical to your construction site accident claim.
#1. Ignoring Safety Precautions
Sometimes, either general contractors or subcontractors may ignore basic safety precautions required of construction companies and workers. From failing to provide adequate clearance around the construction site to protect pedestrians and visitors to the area to ignoring requirements for safety equipment, many contractors try to save time and effort by ignoring safety rules and regulations.
When that lack of safety precautions leads to a serious accident, the company that allowed that hazard to stand may bear liability for the incident.
Furthermore, sometimes, when a subcontractor ignores safety precautions, the general contractor in charge of the site may bear liability for that failure to adhere to construction safety regulations. General contractors often bear responsibility for the entire construction site, including a high duty of care to both workers at the site and visitors to it.
#2. Equipment Malfunctions
Many construction sites require the use of dangerous machinery. Even a small mechanical tool malfunctioning can cause serious injuries, including losing an eye when the worker does not wear protective goggles.
Bigger equipment, when it malfunctions, may pose much more danger. Big equipment malfunctions may mean severe crushing damage, amputations, and substantial injuries. Ladders and scaffolding can also break down or malfunction over time, raising the risk of serious injury to workers who use those items.
When equipment malfunctions, the reason for the malfunction may determine who bears liability for that incident.
- Did the construction company or worker remove safety guards but require the use of the equipment anyway? That company may bear liability.
- Did the equipment malfunction because of an error in its construction? The manufacturer may bear liability.
- Did a malfunction occur because of poor maintenance? The owner of the equipment may bear liability for the malfunction, whether that means that the construction company bears direct liability for the incident or that a rental company bears liability.
Electrical shock may mean severe injuries and substantial damage as the current passes through the victim’s body. Frequently, electrical shock results from inattention on the part of a subcontractor: one who leaves the electricity on, for example, or does not secure the site properly. However, other electrocution damage can occur when a worker cuts through a wire or encounters water with an electrical current running through it.
#4. Hazards on the Property
Some construction sites involve unexpected hazards on the property: dangerous terrain, poor maintenance to the property, or damaged areas. In some cases, when those hazards pose a substantial danger to the construction site worker, the property owner may bear liability for those injuries.
OSHA identifies four primary causes of construction accidents that may result in death: electrocutions, falls, getting struck by falling objects, and getting caught between equipment or objects. Those hazards may occur as a result of negligence on the part of a worker, the company, or the equipment manufacturer.
In a personal injury claim, the injured party must show, generally by working with an attorney, that someone else’s negligence caused the accident. Workers may have the right to file a personal injury claim when a clear malfunction or problem led to the accident. For example, an equipment malfunction that results in limb amputation, loss of vision, or serious crushing damage may leave the victim with the right to file a personal injury claim.
#6. Medical Coverage
When you suffer injuries and need or plan to file a personal injury claim, you will need to make arrangements for your medical coverage, often through your health insurance or by paying for the services you need. On the other hand, if you suffer injuries in a workplace accident on a construction site, workers’ compensation may pay for those medical bills directly.
Following a serious injury resulting from someone else’s negligence, you can make your own choices about the type of medical care you receive and where you receive care. In a workers’ comp claim, on the other hand, you may need to have prior approval for major procedures and concerns, and you may need to use a provider chosen by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
When you file a personal injury claim, compensation breaks down into three key areas: the medical bills you faced as a direct result of your injuries, the wages you lost because of the accident and your inability to work, and your pain and suffering. If your injuries permanently prevent you from going back to work in your field, you may have the right to claim lost earning potential.
How Do You Prove a Construction Accident Was the Result of Negligence?
Florida law provides instructions for determining negligence in a construction accident case. As a victim of an accident that was not your fault, you want to prove that someone else caused the accident, not out of malice, but out of neglect of their duty.
The standards for proving that this is the case are specific for any civil trial:
- Prove that the defendant (the person who caused you harm) owed you a reasonable duty of care. That is, prove that any reasonable person should have expected a certain standard of care from the defendant.
- Prove that the defendant breached their duty in some way.
- Prove that the defendant’s negligence led to the accident that caused your injuries.
- Prove that the accident caused you serious injuries and losses. You can’t sue if you weren’t hurt and didn’t lose anything because of the accident.
To prove you met these four criteria, you need substantial evidence.
The evidence our firm seeks when pursuing claims in construction accident cases include:
- Medical bills and records that prove how much your injuries cost you physically and financially.
- Photographic or video evidence from the accident scene, if there is any available.
- Eyewitness testimony from those at the scene of the accident.
- A journal detailing your losses and sufferings so people understand what you’re going through.
- Evidence from family and friends that can testify to what you record in that journal.
- Medical experts who can testify to how much you have suffered and will likely suffer because of your injuries.
- Documentation of time off work or the loss of your job.
There may be other important pieces of evidence that you’ll need to gather as well, depending on the circumstances in your claim. To make sure you get everything you need, you should reach out to a knowledgeable Tampa construction injury lawyer who can guide you through the process of gathering and using evidence to your advantage.
How Much Compensation Should I Expect After a Construction Accident?
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our Tampa injury attorneys cannot guarantee the compensation you will recover for your construction site accident and injuries. However, we can help you take a look at the insurance policy that may cover the liable party and the financial losses you may have faced, which you can include as part of a personal injury claim.
Most personal injury claims start with a look at the medical bills you have faced as a direct result of your injuries from the accident. Often, medical bills add up immensely following a serious injury. In some cases, such as amputation or severe crushing damage, you may have ongoing medical expenses for the rest of your life. Talk to your lawyer about including both current and future possible bills as part of your claim.
You may have to miss considerable work while recovering from your construction accident injuries. In some cases, your injuries may prevent you from working or cause you to pursue employment in a new field. You can add compensation for your lost income or your lost earning potential to your construction accident claim.
Pain and Suffering
Your construction site injuries may cause immense suffering in non-financial ways. A lawyer can help you determine how to include those non-financial losses in your construction accident claim.
Who Can Be Responsible for Construction Accidents in Tampa?
If you can prove that someone acted negligently and caused your accident, then that person can be held responsible for your accident. In some cases, an individual may cause an accident. In other cases, you may hold the entire company responsible.
The common people who are responsible for construction accidents include:
- Construction foremen.
- Safety managers.
- Construction site owners.
- Contractors or subcontractors.
- Manufacturers of faulty equipment or vehicles.
- Drivers of vehicles involved in an accident.
In some cases, it is even possible that more than one person or party is responsible for the accident. Sometimes, you don’t who actually caused the accident, especially if you don’t know exactly how the accident happened. If you aren’t sure what exactly occurred in your case, get in touch with a skilled construction accident lawyer in Tampa for help figuring out who is responsible.
What is the Process of a Construction Accident Claim in the Law?
You may know that personal injury cases, such as construction accident claims, take a long time to settle. While your attorneys will do their part to get you a favorable settlement as soon as possible, insurance companies and at-fault parties usually don’t want to offer you the settlement you deserve. These companies try to save money, which means offering lower settlements.
You should never accept the first settlement offer brought to the table. Instead, find a lawyer who can help you determine how much you deserve from the responsible party and how much you can reasonably recover. If you don’t figure this out and fight for what you deserve, you will end up with a lower settlement and many more bills to pay.
Once you’ve determined that you’re going to fight for your rights, here is the process your case will take.
- You contact a construction accident lawyer for a free consultation. They help you evaluate your case and determine whether or not they can help you fight it.
- You meet with your construction accident attorney in person to discuss further case details and, if you both agree, to sign the paperwork and begin working together.
- Your lawyers gather evidence from medical records, eyewitness testimony, and any other relevant reports or documentation.
- Your lawyers write a complaint and file it against the responsible party and/or their insurance company, requesting settlement.
- The responsible party responds to the complaint, either making a settlement offer or outright denying your claim.
- Lawyers on both sides of the settlement process gather more evidence. This might include evidence that the other side has gathered along with interrogatories (written questionnaires filled out by involved parties), expert testimony, and depositions (verbal statements from each involved party and/or witness).
- Negotiations begin. This process usually includes the other side (the defendant) making an offer and you deciding whether or not to accept it. Your lawyer will help you make the decision but will allow you to make the final call.
- If you cannot settle favorably, the case may need to go to court for a judge and jury to decide.
- In court, your lawyers will present all the evidence they have gathered in your favor while the defendant’s lawyers do the same on their end.
- Finally, the jury will decide your verdict and how much you can claim in compensation from the defendant.
You can see why the process may take some time. Gathering evidence alone often takes weeks or months, and if the case goes to court, there will be a lot of time spent on jury selection, presenting evidence, and jury deliberations. Sometimes, these cases can take up to a year or more to finally end. To make sure you get compensation as quickly as possible, contact a lawyer as soon as your accident occurs.
Why Do I Need a Tampa Construction Accident Attorney to Help Me?
While you may gather and present evidence in your claim, the process is long, tedious, and confusing. Lawyers make the process easier, more effective, and more likely to succeed.
Talk to a Tampa construction accident lawyer at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys before you take any potential missteps. An experienced lawyer will help you determine the settlement amount you deserve and help you fight for it by negotiating on your behalf with stubborn insurance companies. Your lawyer can also help you find support such as transportation or financial help if you’re struggling after your accident.
As a bonus, all personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they won’t take any money unless they win your case. At that point, you’ll pay them a percentage of your winnings. Ultimately, you won’t pay anything out of pocket if you choose to get legal help in fighting for your claim.
At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, our goal has always been to see justice for our clients. We get involved in our community and are proud to work with our community members to get everything they need to recover after construction accidents. If you were in a construction accident and need help, we are here for you. Don’t hesitate to call us today for your free consultation.