Construction sites are inherently dangerous places, with physical work, machinery operation and potential accidents posing significant risks to workers. If you’ve been injured on the job as a construction worker, understanding your rights and workers’ compensation coverage available is crucial.
Below is an overview of common construction site injuries and the workers’ compensation benefits that may apply to your situation.
Common construction site injuries
Construction workers face a range of hazards on the job, as identified by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). These include:
- Falls from heights
- Falling objects
- Trench collapses
- Collapsed scaffolding
- Electrical hazards
- Machinery and equipment accidents
- Strains, sprains and musculoskeletal injuries due to repetitive motions, heavy lifting and strenuous exercises
- Respiratory issues and exposure to hazardous substances
Construction site accidents can result in burns, electrocution, eye injuries, broken bones, knee and ankle injuries, spinal cord injuries, toxic chemical exposure, head, back or brain injuries and even fatalities.
Workers’ compensation benefits
Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most employers in Florida. As a result, most part-time and full-time employees are entitled to benefits in the event that they sustain work-related harm. Benefits include:
- Medical expenses: Coverage for necessary medical treatment or rehabilitation related to your injury
- Lost wages: Compensation for a portion of your lost income during your recovery period
- Disability benefits: Temporary or permanent disability benefits if you’re unable to work fully or partially due to your injuries
- Death benefits: If a worker dies due to a construction accident, surviving dependents may receive compensation
It’s important to note that fault is not a defining factor in workers’ compensation claims. You may have contributed to your construction site accident, but that does not necessarily bar you from these benefits.
Third-party lawsuit claims
In certain cases, if someone other than your employer is responsible for your construction accident, you may have grounds for a third-party lawsuit. Examples include negligent motorists or manufacturers of defective tools or machinery. Third-party claims allow for additional compensation beyond what workers’ compensation offers, such as pain and suffering damages.
Protect your legal rights
While you may have a valid workers’ compensation claim after a construction site accident in Florida, mistakes in the claims process can jeopardize your chances of getting the benefits you deserve. Therefore, it is important to seek necessary guidance to understand how everything works, your rights and what you can do to improve the odds of a successful claim.