As communities in Florida and nationwide continue to make investments in infrastructure and development projects, construction remains a powerhouse of industry in the state. Unfortunately, construction jobs can be hazardous for both the workers as well as members of the public. A 27-year-old construction worker was recently killed in an accident in Tampa Bay when a large concrete slab broke from a seawall and crushed the man.
According to a local news report discussing the tragedy, workers had been replacing a seawall in Port Tampa Bay when a piece of concrete broke apart, and a slab weighing approximately 3000 lbs fell month the worker. Emergency crews were called, but the worker was pronounced dead at the scene. The article does not contain many details, but it appears that negligence may have been a factor in the accident.
Florida workplace accidents caused thousands of injuries and deaths each year. People hurt or killed in such incidents can often pursue compensation for their injuries and loss by making a Florida workers’ compensation claim. Florida law requires most employers to maintain workers’ compensation insurance that covers losses related to workplace accidents. Workers’ compensation coverage may pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other economic damages related to their injury.
Florida’s workers’ compensation law also contains a death benefit to help the families of Florida workers who are killed on the job. Families are entitled to up to $7500 in funeral and burial expenses, as well as up to $939 per week in payments as part of the death benefit. The death benefit is capped at $150,000 total. Workers’ compensation benefits are not automatically paid out to injured employees or their families; official claims must be made and procedures properly followed. Insurance companies may attempt to limit or deny benefits that should be guaranteed, and as a result, injured employees often find it helpful to retain a Florida workers’ compensation attorney to assist with their claims and maximize the number of benefits received.
In cases where an injury is caused by the negligence of another person, the injured party may also be entitled to seek a civil claim against the at-fault party. Civil claims for personal injury can be more effective than workers’ compensation claims for several reasons. Civil claims are not subject to the $150,000 limit that workers’ compensation places on the death benefit. Additionally, a civil claim can include “noneconomic damages” such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, which are not permitted as part of a workers’ compensation claim.
Have You Been Injured in a Construction Accident?
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed while on the job in Florida, you are entitled to compensation to assist with your medical care and support you while you recover. You may also have a civil claim against a negligent party to collect damages in excess of what is available under a workers’ compensation claim. A qualified Florida workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney can help tailor your claims to the facts and law, and ensure that you are able to collect the maximum amount of damages to which you are entitled. The experienced Florida personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys with Friedman, Rodman, Frank, and Estrada can help you pursue both workers’ compensation and civil personal injury claims for your injuries, if appropriate. Call our office at 877-448-8585 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.