Construction jobs are rewarding, but they are also some of our nation’s most dangerous jobs. Construction workers must contend with many hazards, such as heavy machinery, scaffolding, trenches, and other occupational dangers. Exposure to the elements can lead to serious conditions such as heat stroke, dehydration, or even chronic illness.
Your employer has a duty to provide you with a safe work environment. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration sets certain minimum standards for safety in the construction industry and helps protect workers from preventable injuries. Despite this, construction accidents in Tampa can and do happen every day. If you recently incurred injury on a construction site, what are your legal options?
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Florida has a workers’ compensation program to protect employees who sustain injury on the job. This program is a no-fault system in which you can collect benefits while you’re recovering from a work-related injury. Since the system is no-fault, you won’t have to prove your employer was negligent before collecting benefits. In exchange for this, however, you forfeit your right to sue your employer for additional damages.
A workers’ compensation claim will help by paying for all your medical bills and a portion of your salary. It does not, however, compensate for intangible losses associated with your accident, such as pain and suffering.
If you’re injured on the job site, alert your supervisor as soon as possible. Your employer will have to submit a claim form to the insurance company, who will decide what your benefits are. You may have to use an in-network provider, so ask where to seek medical treatment instead of visiting your primary care physician.
Other Options for Compensation
Unfortunately, the workers’ compensation program rarely provides enough benefits on which to live. Chances are, you’ll only receive a portion of your previous salary. For this reason, many injured construction workers look for additional avenues for legal recourse. In certain situations, you may be able to bring a separate claim against other companies to compensate for damages.
The construction industry is unique in that you often work with multiple companies at once. For example, you might be working with other contractors, subcontractors, and vendors at the same time. If an employee of another company acted negligently and that led to your injury, you may be able to pursue an additional claim. If this applies, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Examples of when this might apply include:
- A vendor negligently installing scaffolding
- A subcontractor digging a trench leading to hazardous waste leaks
- An onsite truck driver acting recklessly
- A roofing subcontractor negligently installing roofing material
Your Tampa Construction Accident Attorney
Construction accidents are often serious and may leave you out of work for the long term. If you’re struggling under the weight of bills and wondering how you’ll make ends meet, we can help. Contact our construction accident injury lawyers for a free initial consultation, and see how a personal injury claim can help you get back on your feet.