Under most circumstances, a construction worker who is injured on the job cannot sue for personal injury. The worker’s only remedy is through workers’ compensation, which provides no-fault insurance for workers, but shields negligent employers and coworkers from lawsuits. However, there are several exceptions that allow workers to sue, so if you’ve been injured in a construction accident, you need to find out whether an exception applies in your case. An experienced construction accident attorney can investigate your accident to sue if you can take action against any of the following:
Construction sites are dynamic workplaces, where various subcontracting entities and their employees might be operating at one time. For example, suppose you were directly employed as a laborer for the general contractor, but he hired a subcontractor to handle the roofing. While you are working down below, a roofer drops a hammer which strikes you in the back. You have no relationship with the roofer or therefore you can sue the subcontractor.
Another type of third party is a machine/tool manufacturer. If a piece of equipment proves defective, and due to that defect, you are injured, you can sue the manufacturer under the theory of product liability. Most product liability cases are conducted under a “strict liability” standard, so you don’t have to prove anyone is negligent. Instead, you have to prove a defect exited in the machinery and the defect directly caused the accident that harmed you.
Finally, vehicle accidents are responsible for a great number of third-party claims, especially in roadwork construction. So, whether it’s a construction vehicle or an SUV that didn’t move over when passing through the work zone, you may be able to sue as if you were a pedestrian injured in a regular traffic accident.
When you suffer a worksite injury, you should immediately seek medical assistance and file for workers’ compensation. Then consult a construction accident attorney. The law allows you to pursue a third-party negligence suit even if you are receiving workers’ comp benefits, and your consultation with an accident lawyer is free, so you have absolutely nothing to lose. If you are the loved one of a construction worker, who was fatally injured in an accident, you should file for death benefits, then see an attorney about a wrongful death lawsuit.
Florida law allows two years for injured parties or their legal representatives to sue for personal injury or wrongful death. However, you should act immediately to give the lawyer the best opportunity to investigate your case, preserve evidence, and record witness statements.
Ken M. Frankel P.A. provides personal injury and wrongful death representation for clients in construction accident cases in Broward County and throughout South Florida. To schedule a free consultation, call 954-784-0800 or contact our office online. We are conveniently located at 71 Northeast 27th Avenue, easily accessible from Rt. 1 and East Atlantic Blvd. If your injuries prevent you from visiting our office, we can come to your home or hospital room.