Can I Sue the Owner if I Was Hurt in a Construction Accident?
Construction work is no easy task, with the risk of falling objects, use of dangerous tools, and potential exposure to toxic materials. Aside from the exertion of the job, you face these safety risks daily just by stepping into your workplace.
When these accidents happen, there needs to be accountability. If you have been in a construction accident, you can seek compensation through a South Florida construction accident lawsuit.
If you want to move forward with a lawsuit, the question becomes: who is liable for the accident?
When Can You File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer for a South Florida Workplace Accident?
Construction accidents are tragic and complex, and you may have medical bills, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity due to your injury. How can you seek compensation to cover these losses?
Florida’s worker’s compensation laws state that worker’s compensation is the “exclusive remedy” of injury claims by an employee against an employer. This law means that if you are injured at work, you must pursue compensation through your employer’s worker’s comp insurance, not through a lawsuit against your employer.
However, there are three exceptions in which you may file a lawsuit against your employer.
- If you weren’t actually an employee (did not have a contract);
- If your employer did not have worker’s compensation insurance as required by law; or
- If your employer caused your injury with an intentional action.
Florida’s worker’s comp typically only covers medical costs and 2/3 of lost wages until you are re-employed. Unlike workers’ compensation claims, civil suits cover all losses, including pain and suffering and loss of consortium with family members, which can mean higher compensation.
Who Can I Sue if I Was Injured in a Construction Accident?
Worker’s compensation and lawsuits against your employer aren’t your only options. When approaching a Florida construction accident lawsuit, your personal injury attorney can help you identify all potential defendants.
Suing the Owner of a Florida Property After an Accident
If your Florida construction accident happened while working on private property, it was the property owner’s responsibility to ensure workplace safety. If they failed to do this, you can sue for negligence.
While these third parties may be at fault, you can only sue if they were not under contract with your employer. If a contract exists between the property owner and your employer, you cannot file a civil suit against them.
If the property owner wasn’t under contract with your employer and you can prove that your injury is the direct result of a property owner’s negligence, you have a case. For example, if the property had unsafe conditions that caused your accident and you can prove that the property owner knew about the hazard and did not correct it, you can file a construction accident lawsuit to pursue compensation from the property owner.
Suing a Government Agency
If you were working construction on public property, a government agency is responsible for maintaining the safety of that workplace. If their negligence led to your accident, they could be liable.
Suing a Product Manufacturer
If a tool or machine malfunction caused your job injuries, you may be able to hold the product manufacturer liable.
Injured in a Florida Construction Accident? Contact a South Florida Attorney Today
If you or a loved one was in a construction accident, Lyons & Snyder can help. Filing a Florida construction accident lawsuit can be complex, so partner with an experienced personal injury attorney.