Construction and Other Work Related Accidents
Is Worker’s Compensation Your Only Option?
Countless hard working men and women are injured at construction sites and other work locations in spite of federal and state regulations, such as OSHA, designed to protect workers. Unfortunately, severe restrictions on what may be recovered may apply due to the Worker’s Compensation laws. However, and very importantly, depending on the facts and circumstances other legal options may be available.
If you were injured in a work related accident it is very important to seek the advice of an attorney experienced in analyzing the facts to see if you have rights other than those available under the restricted Worker’s Compensation remedies.
For example, scaffolding accidents can cause horrible injuries. It may be possible to bring an action against the scaffolding contractor or the manufacturer even if you have Worker’s Comp available. Crane accidents likewise can cause devastating harm. Any crane accident causing serious injury should be properly investigated to determine who or what was at fault and the legal remedies available.
Perhaps you were injured by a faulty product such as, for example, a saw that was not outfitted with a proper guard. A product liability lawsuit might be able to compensate you for pain and suffering, loss of ability to enjoy life and other remedies. One advantage of a Product Liability lawsuit is that Florida has adopted the doctrine of Strict Liability in its laws. This means that the designer, manufacturer and seller of a defective product may be liable even if there was not actual negligence.
If you were unfortunately exposed to dangerous chemicals on the job or burned, if you were shocked and seriously injured by faulty wiring or electrical equipment, you may have legal options open to you. You need proper guidance by a professional.
What happens if your employer provides Worker’s Compensation insurance to its employees but for some reason benefits were denied to you. Perhaps you need an operation on your wrist because you were required to do a certain action on your job over and over, but the Worker’s Compensation insurance company denies that your injury is work related claiming that it is just the result of non-work related arthritis. Are you left out alone in the cold? Perhaps not. In fact you may have better remedies available. If your employer was somehow negligent or failed to provide a safe workplace or failed to provide proper help and support for you to do your job safely and to top it off denies you Worker’s Compensation benefits you might be able to sue the employer and recover all of your damages resulting from your injury.
These cases have some unique legal benefits. If you bring a lawsuit for your employer’s negligence after Worker’s Compensation benefits were denied, the employer cannot plead comparative negligence on your part (that is that you were negligent yourself in part for the accident) or that you assumed the risks of the job. The employer is denied these defenses in court because it denied you your Worker's Compensaton benefits.
Situations like these demonstrate why it is so crucial to ask for the help of an experienced lawyer who can explain your rights. At Goldberg and Hirsh we have helped injured workers by exploring rights and remedies beyond those limited options available through Worker’s Compensation. Call us now for a free consultation. We will do our best to help you.