Palm Beach Construction Accident Attorney
One of the most hazardous kinds of work anyone can pursue is construction work. Workers’ compensation may provide vital financial benefits to injured construction workers or surviving family members. If you’ve been injured or if you’ve lost a loved one in a construction accident in Palm Beach County – or anywhere in Florida – speak immediately with an experienced Palm Beach Construction Accident Attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin.
We help injured construction workers through the complicated workers’ compensation process. If you encounter any impediment to receiving your benefits, we will aggressively fight for the compensation that is legally yours.
Construction Site Dangers
Workers face many dangers on a construction site, including working in confined spaces. A confined space is a space that is designed for an employee to work in for a very short period of time. The space has little room to move about, and has limited entry and exit points. Employees require special training when they are required to perform work in a confined space. On a construction worksite, these kinds of confined spaces can include everything from manholes, storm drains, tanks, pits, boilers, incinerators, crawl spaces and attics. A basement, before the steps are installed, can constitute a confined space.
Working in these confined spaces is one of the most dangerous types of activities that can be conducted on a construction site, and employers need to be extra cautious. Employers must clearly identify the confined spaces where work will be performed, and must admit workers with a permit only into these “permit spaces.” Workers, who work in a permit space, must have protection against hazards which means that workers must be informed of the dangers of working in the space before he enters the permit space. Remember, a permit space may involve dangers like toxic exposure, engulfment, suffocation and asphyxiation. Warning signs must be posted around the area.
Another one of the most dangerous activities on a construction site involves trenching and excavation. Workers involved in such activities may be at a high risk of injuries, including those caused by a cave-in, or a trench collapse. A trench collapse occurs when the walls of the trench begin to cave in, as soil that has been piled on the sides of the trench, begins to cave in. Workers, who are trapped in a trench that is beginning to collapse, could even be buried alive. In such cases, death often occurs. When a trench is not adequately protected, it can turn into a grave for an unprotected construction worker. Make no mistake – soil may seem soft and harmless, but when it is pouring down in massive quantities on a worker in a trench, it can pack enough force to crush a worker, suffocate him and kill him swiftly. Trench collapses and other trench accidents can be prevented if employers ensure that workers are allowed to enter trenches, only after the trench walls have been adequately shored, or strengthened. In the trench shoring process, appropriate materials are used to ensure the trench walls are stabilized, to prevent a wall collapse.
On a typical construction worksite, a worker is exposed to pieces of metal, pieces of wood, fragments of stone, soil, debris and other risks in the environment. When a piece of debris is lodged in the eye, it can cause inflammation, redness, swelling and even bleeding. All types of malfunctioning tools can also cause injuries. On a site, workers are at risk of eye burns caused by chemical solvents, and radiation. Welders may be at high risk of injury caused by sparks from welding tools and cutting. If you have suffered an injury in the workplace, discuss filing a claim for workers’ compensation with a Palm Beach construction accident lawyer.
When Workers’ Compensation Isn’t Enough
When a construction worker is injured, the first and obvious source of compensation for him is workers’ compensation. Those benefits will apply, regardless of whose fault the accident was. In other words, even if the accident or the injury was the worker’s own fault, he is still eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits must pay for medical expenses, lost income and other damages. In our thirty years of representing injured construction workers, we’ve often found that workers’ compensation is inadequate or barely adequate to compensate you for the genuine costs of a construction injury. In some situations you may also be able to file a third-party personal injury claim. A third-party claim allows you to recover damages through a personal injury action that is filed against a third party or parties that may be responsible for your accident. For instance, the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment, a construction worker who does a shoddy job building scaffolding and other such parties may be liable for damages when their negligence causes injuries to a worker. Third-party claims could be filed against negligent contractors, defective equipment makers, negligent vehicle or machinery operators, property owners, or anyone else at fault for your injury.
It is important to identify whether you have grounds for a third-party claim. That’s because these third-party claims typically do result in significantly higher payouts, compared to workers’ compensation benefits. Your workers’ compensation benefits may be based on a predetermined calculator that does not take into consideration the expenses that you will be expected to bear in the future. Say, for instance, a worker who has suffered a severe brain injury in a construction accident may receive workers’ compensation benefits that may not cover all of the medical expenses as well as other expenses that he may have to bear in the future. However, if his injury was caused because of the negligence of a manufacturer, contractor, vendor, supplier or any other such third-party, then he may be eligible for a third-party claim that will cover most damages.
Safety violations that frequently cause construction accidents include:
- Failure to maintain a safe jobsite
- Failure to train employees sufficiently
- Insufficient protection from electrical equipment and wiring
- Defective scaffolding, stairs, or guard rails
- Failure to use or improper use of equipment including safety equipment
- Failure to warn workers about previously identified hazards
Fighting For Your Future
We understand your concerns. A serious construction injury can pose a threat to your career, your family, and your future. Construction accidents can cause brain and spinal cord damage, amputations, and other life-shattering injuries that may require longterm treatment and care. An experienced Palm Beach Construction Accident Attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin will help you face the future by fighting aggressively for every cent of the compensation you need and deserve.
We never charge a fee until you receive compensation. If you are injured in a construction accident in Palm Beach County or anywhere in the state of Florida, speak to an experienced Palm Beach Construction Accident Attorney attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin. Call us at 561-557-4546, or complete the form on our Contact Page and schedule a free consultation today.