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It is not uncommon for construction companies to cut costs and work schedules without considering their workers' safety. This is the reason for several workplace accidents in the construction industry. Construction site accidents either end in fatal injuries or non-fatal injuries. Employees who suffer a work-related injury due to their employer's negligence are entitled to compensation benefits.

However, as often seen in practice, most injured workers do not receive fair compensation from their employers. If you find yourself in a disadvantaged position with your employer, our construction accident lawyers at VG Law Group can offer you excellent legal advice. But first, let's look at the common construction injuries in Florida. 

What Are the Common Causes of Construction Accidents?

A man at a Fort Lauderdale construction site gets injured

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States recorded 5,333 work fatalities in 2019. It means that a worker died from a work-related injury every 99 minutes in 2019. In the private construction industry, workplace death increased 5%, at 1,061, the largest total since 2007. 

So, what are the common causes of accidents at construction sites? Here are some of them:

  • Inadequate protection for workers on elevated platforms or structures
  • Inadequate protection for workers and visitors on the ground from falling heavy objects
  • Tripping hazards on construction site from construction materials and debris
  • Lack of protection or guards on power tools
  • Defective machinery and unsafe equipment
  • Inadequate safety precautions, especially when working near power lines
  • Lack of protection for trench workers
  • Dangerous conditions on the property and lack of safety regulations
  • Defective tools

Following a construction job-related accident, it is vital to carry out a prompt investigation. The investigation will reveal any form of workplace negligence. It would also show if there were violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety policies. 

Evidence of any of the above would give the worker the right to a personal injury claim. It is best to work with a construction accident attorney if you want to pursue financial compensation. An experienced attorney will investigate the incident and preserve evidence.

What Are the Types of Accidents in the Construction Industry?

A U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report in 2019 showed that fatal work injuries in Florida totaled 306. By industry, the private construction industry had the highest number at 91. The construction and extraction occupational group had the highest number of workplace fatalities by occupation, with 83. Construction trades workers accounted for 72 of the 83 fatalities among construction and extraction workers.

These numbers show there is a high risk of construction accident injuries and deaths. Below, we list the types of accidents common in the construction industry. 

Falls From Heights

When workers use unsecured ladders and scaffolding, they are prone to fall. Employees who fall either suffer personal injuries or death. A construction company must ensure that workers use ladders the right way. Avoid overleaning and setting them up in a dangerous manner. If there is scaffolding, guard the workways to ensure it is a safe route. 

Trips or Slip and Falls

With so much construction equipment lying around, it is not uncommon for workers and visitors to trip or slip and fall. Trips often happen when a worker trip over loose tools, wires, and uneven ground. Slip, and falls occur when a person slips due to wet ground. It is common during adverse weather conditions like rain and snow and a spilled liquid on the floor. This construction accident type is one of the most common. 

Struck By an Object

This accident happens when a heavy object or equipment hits a worker. Since machinery and tools are in constant motion, they are either falling, flying, swinging, or rolling. The preceding increase their chances to hit a worker. Construction injuries sustained from these accident types are usually severe and result in construction site fatalities. 

Electrocutions or Electrical Accidents 

Electrical hazards are common in construction sites. Electrocution accidents happen when a worker gets exposed to one of these hazards. According to OSHA, the following are the most frequent causes of electrocution injuries at construction sites: 

  • Contact with power lines
  • Lack of ground-fault protection
  • Path to ground missing or discontinuous
  • Equipment not used in the manner prescribed
  • Improper use of extension and flexible cords

Caught In or Between Hazardous Objects

Crush injuries often result from being stuck in or between two objects. The common types of this accident are cave-ins and strangulation from equipment. Others are caught in between pieces of machinery and crushed between two moving vehicles. 

Vehicle Accidents

Construction worker holds up injury

Accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians are not uncommon on road construction sites. Sometimes, workers are victims of these accidents, especially during rush hours. For construction workers, the following are the most common causes of injuries:

  • Runovers
  • Backovers
  • Vehicle collisions
  • Caught between accidents
  • Striking by objects

Generally, construction accidents are preventable if employers follow OSHA's strict safety protocols. But if you find yourself working for an employer who doesn't follow safety procedures and you suffer an injury, contact a VG Law Group personal injury lawyer to determine your legal options.  

What Are the Common Types of Construction Injuries in Florida? 

When construction sites fail to prioritize safety, accidents happen that result in injuries or death. According to the Center for Disease Control, falls remain the leading cause of work-related deaths in construction. In 2016, it accounted for about one-third of the total number of fatalities in the industry. That is 370 of the 991 construction work-related fatalities.

Those who survive the accidents go through extensive pain and suffering while recovering. Others are unable to return to work or continue working in the industry because of their wounds. Some of the common types of injuries that lead to the preceding includes: 

  • Spinal cord injuries and loss of limb from falls or crush accidents
  • Broken bones or fractures from falls
  • Burns from fires, electrocutions, or explosions
  • Shoulder, knee, or ankle injuries such as sprains or overuse damage
  • Cuts and lacerations from exposed machinery, tools, or nails
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from traumatic experiences like being stuck in between machinery
  • Exposure to toxic substances or chemicals, e.g. from welding jobs
  • Head injuries or traumatic brain injuries from falls or objects dropping on a worker

Due to the noisy nature of construction sites, workers are at risk for hearing loss. There are also susceptible to the following illnesses: 

  • Insulation
  • Asbestos-related illnesses
  • Silicosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
  • Occupational asthma

Any Florida construction worker who suffers any of the above is entitled to receive compensation from the construction company. But what does this compensation cover? Let's find out.

What Are the Remedies Available to an Injured Construction Worker? 

In Florida, there are two options available to an injured construction worker. The first is workers' compensation insurance, and the second is a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit. 

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Workers' comp insurance is a policy taken out by an employer to cover all work-related injuries or illnesses. It's what an employer uses in settling an injured worker. Generally workers' comp benefits cover wage losses and medical bills. It does not compensate the worker for emotional distress or mental anguish or pain and suffering. 

Florida workers' comp laws provide that construction companies with one or more employees must take out a workers' comp policy. The injured worker must file a First Report of the injury or illness within seven days from knowing when the injury happened, or the illness started. Also, employees of an out-of-state construction company operating in Florida must ensure their employer has workers' compensation insurance. 

Personal Injury/Wrongful Death Claims

When the employer's insurance carrier rejects an employee's claim without justifiable reasons, they can bring a personal injury action. In events where the employee dies from a work-related injury or illness, their family can file a wrongful death lawsuit. For either of the two, the law provides the following damages: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages 
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment to life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

When pursuing a workers' comp claim or civil action, it is best to work with an experienced attorney.

A construction worker attends to his injured co worker

VG Law Group Can Help You!

At VG Law Group, we have a team of attorneys who are experts in construction accident claims. Our combined years of experience and legal knowledge make us the right people to handle your case. We will work on a contingency fee basis until we get you the compensation you deserve. Find out more on how we can represent you by scheduling a free case review. 

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