Construction accidents and compensation for injured workers

Florida construction workers are at a greater risk for injury and death on the job than workers in most other professions. For the 2012 year, there were more than 4,000 worker fatalities throughout the United States, and almost 20 percent of those fatalities were construction workers. Out of more than 3 million on-the-job injuries and illnesses that were not fatal, nearly 10 percent were in the construction industry.

The highest numbers of deaths for construction workers are caused by falls. The other most common fatal accidents are the result of being struck by something or of electrocution. Being caught in or between objects or machinery is another common cause of fatal accidents. Non-fatal falls are also the most common type of injury suffered by construction workers. For all construction workers, the average workers’ compensation claim is around $50,000, but this varies across segments and may climb significantly in some cases. For carpenters and roofers, the average amount is just under or over $100,000 respectively.

Many workers are covered by workers’ compensation, and this can help to pay medical expenses as well as the cost of any needed rehabilitation. However, in some cases, the injury or fatality is the fault of a third party such as subcontractors or the manufacturer of machinery. In such a case, the injured individual may want to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.

A consultation with an attorney soon after an accident may ensure that an injured worker is advised of their rights. Multiple parties may bear responsibility for the accident. For example, an individual might be injured by faulty machinery, but it is also possible that the machinery was not being used safely by a subcontractor. An attorney may be able to evaluate the situation and suggest the best strategy for the injured client.

Source: FindLaw, “Construction Safety: The Industry at a Glance”, accessed on Feb. 5, 2015