Florida construction is booming once again. With the increased in building comes the increased risk for accidents and injuries to occur on construction sites. Even the most careful workers are at a substantial risk of injury or death while on the job. With the surge in construction-related fatalities, one must wonder if profit and the need to build quickly and cost effectively are benefits that contractors feel outweighs the risk of fatal accidents and injuries due to cost cutting measures..
In 2012, our Miami personal injury lawyers discovered that thirty-three South Florida workers lost their lives while on the job. Even more troubling, 227 Florida workers were killed on the job state-wide in 2012. Of these 227 deaths, 41 of them were from Florida’s construction industry. The variety of construction work-related fatalities ranges from falling from heights to being electrocuted to being crushed by equipment. With today’s technology, safety measures are supposed to be better than ever.
However, if the construction industry is exceptionally busy, there simply may be too many construction sites for OSHA and Florida regulatory agencies to oversee what’s going on. For example, of the 227 deaths mentioned above, OSHA only conducted 74 investigations, handing out fines for penalties, totaling approximately $7,000 per investigation. Is this enough to deter employers from cutting corners and failing to follow safety precautions? There must be a correlation between the increased death toll, the failure to ensure safety measures are in place, and the exponential growth of the South Florida construction industry.
The Surge In Construction Work-Related Injuries and Fatalities Brings A Surge in Personal Injury Lawsuits
When fatalities and other severe injuries occur while workers are on the job at a construction site and safety measures are not being followed, the employer is violating his/her duty to the employees. The employer is responsible for ensuring a safe work environment and taking all precautions necessary to train and educate employees. When an employer violates the duty of care owed to employees, an injured employee (or the estate of a deceased employee) has a valid personal injury claim against the employer.
It is absolutely true that accidents happen on the job, and one’s own carelessness can lead to his or her demise. However, the employer is always in the position to control the overall workplace environment. For example, if an employer came up with a system to provide for barriers and harnesses when workers are at extreme heights, fewer falls may occur. Additionally, if an employer is aware that a live power line is near a worksite, that employer should ensure that either the power is shut off or that the worker is able to complete a task without coming into contact with the live power line.
Do You Need To Speak With A Lawyer?
If you are a construction worker or a family member of a work who has been injured or killed while on the job, you may have a personal injury claim against your employer. Our firm has been successful in proving that workman’s compensation is not an injured person’s only remedy. We have proven legal responsibility on the part of third parties who are not proteted by the Worker’s Compensation Immunity. You should speak with an attorney experienced in the area of construction accidents and injuries. If you are a construction worker who has not been injured, but is curious if you workplace is safe and in compliance with the law, you should also seek the advice of an attorney. It’s better to know now whether or not you are in a safe environment when going to work.
If the construction workplace fatality rate continues to increase at the same rate, we may be facing an epidemic whereby workers are losing their lives at the expense of money and the failure to follow safety precautions. As Florida citizens, we all need to do what we can to help combat unsafe work environments. The key mechanism for achieving the safest work environment possible is deterrence. Personal injury lawsuits related to construction accidents, injuries and fatalities are a good measure to deter bad conduct, especially when OSHA penalties are not doing the job.
Contact Our South Florida Construction Accidents and Injuries Attorneys Today For A Free Consultation
The Miami Construction Accidents and Injuries Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully helping clients get compensation for injuries they have suffered. Our attorneys advocate for your rights to help you recover when you suffer an injury while on a construction site. Our attorneys have been voted “South Florida’s Top Rated Lawyers” by the Miami Herald, have been rated “AV” by Martindale Hubbell, and have been named “Superlawyers,” labeling them as some of the best lawyers in America. The Miami Construction Accidents and Injuries Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have also been invited to be members of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Call Greenberg Stone and Urbano today to schedule your free consultation to evaluate your potential construction accident or injury claim with one of our attorneys. You may contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.