Construction accident statistics
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries during the latest reporting year. While every workplace poses certain dangers to workers, construction workers have some of the most hazardous jobs in the country. Data available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shows that more than 20% of all workplace fatalities during the latest reporting year occurred in the construction industry.
The leading causes of death of construction workers are called “the Fatal Four” by OSHA, and include:
- Getting struck by objects
- Getting caught in between objects
However, while these may be the leading causes of death and injuries, there are many other ways that construction workers sustained harm each year. This includes:
- Minor slip and fall accidents
- Ladder accidents
- Scaffolding accidents
- Power tool and machinery accidents
- Vehicle accidents
- Repetitive motion incidents
- Exposure to hazardous conditions
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
Most common Tampa construction accident injuries
There are numerous injuries that occur regularly in the construction industry. Tampa construction accident lawyer Paul Rebein regularly helps clients who have sustained the following:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Other neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Amputation and crush injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
However, there are other injuries aside from these that occur over longer periods of time due to exposure to hazardous conditions or elements. For all of the following, construction workers are still entitled to receive compensation:
- Repetitive stress injuries (repetitive motion injuries)
- Hearing and vision loss
- Respiratory illnesses
- Occupational cancers
- Cardiovascular and heart problems
It could be more difficult to prove the cause of injuries that occur over longer periods of time. However, a Tampa construction accident attorney will have the resources and experience necessary to conduct a full investigation into any workplace injury in order to prove its origins.
Are these injuries covered by workers’ compensation?
In Florida, just about every employer must have workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. So long as an injury happened on the job or was caused while a person was participating in workplace activities, they should be entitled to various benefits, including:
- Temporary disability benefits to cover loss wages
- Impairment benefits for permanent limitation injuries or amputations
- Coverage for reasonable and necessary medical care
- Compensation for any vocation rehabilitation to train for a new line of work
How long do you have to file a claim?
Under Florida workers’ compensation laws, employers must be notified of most work injuries within 30 days of the injury occurring. However, it is vital that an injury victim report the injury as soon as they know it has happened. If there is a condition or illness that develops over longer periods of time, the employer must be notified within 30 days of the victim discovering that the injury may have been caused by the workplace.
After notification of the employer, the workers’ compensation process will generally begin. Overall, the law allows a workers’ compensation claim to be filed within two years from the date of the injury.
What if you need to appeal a Florida workers’ compensation claim?
There are various reasons why an employer may deny a workers’ compensation claim after a construction injury. They may argue that the injury did not actually occur at work or that the employer was under the influence of alcohol drugs at the time the incident occurred. Regardless of what reason your claim was denied, you have the right to appeal the decision with the Division of Administration.
When you file an appeal, a hearing will be scheduled with the Judge of Compensation Claims. In most cases, the injured worker will be required to be evaluated by an Independent Medical Examination. There will be a Pretrial Hearing at which you or your attorney will make your case as to why you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. If a claim is still denied, the next step will be to appeal the decision to the First District Court of Appeals.
Will you need to file a lawsuit?
In most work injury cases, including injuries that occur in construction, the injury victim will not be able to go outside of the workers’ compensation system to secure compensation. In most cases, you are not able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer to recover compensation. However, if a work injury occurs due to the careless or negligent actions of a third party (aside from your employer or coworkers), it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party.
The construction industry regularly makes use of third party contractors, and most job sites typically have one or more contractors or subcontractors. If your work injury was caused by a third party at work, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to secure the same types of compensation mentioned above as well as coverage for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages. The statute of limitations for a Florida personal injury claim is four years from the day the injury occurred.
Contact us for a free consultation
If you or somebody you love has sustained an injury while working in construction, you may need assistance from an attorney to secure the compensation you need. There are times when workers’ compensation insurers and employers delay or deny claims unnecessarily. Attorney Paul Rebein will work to secure the compensation you need by conducting a full investigation into the incident and negotiating with all parties involved. When you need hey Tampa construction accident lawyer, contact us for a free consultation today.