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Common Construction Accidents in Florida

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Find out how to navigate a construction accident claim in the Sunshine State. Contact a verified attorney for legal help.

From scaffolding accidents to trench collapses, construction accidents in Florida can be unpredictable. One incident can happen in a split second and have devastating long-term consequences. Due to the dangers Florida construction workers often face, these incidents, unfortunately, are common. 

While construction companies, workers, and third-party entities should prioritize safety, many fail to do so. If you sustained an injury on a construction site in Florida, it’s important to act fast. Speak to an experienced Florida construction accident attorney who can inform you of your rights and help you explore your potential legal options for compensation. 

What are the most common construction accidents in Florida?

Florida sees a variety of construction accidents, each with its own set of risks and consequences. Scaffold accidents are among the most common construction accidents in Florida. Many other accidents that lead to injuries and deaths on construction sites include: 

  • Falls, trips, and slips.
  • Electrocution accidents.
  • Struck by object accidents.
  • Caught in or between accidents.
  • Transportation incidents.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals.

What is a scaffolding accident? 

A scaffolding accident is any mishap or injury related to the use of scaffolding on a construction site. These accidents often involve workers falling from heights, being struck by falling objects, or injuries due to scaffold collapses. 

Why are scaffolding accidents particularly dangerous?

Scaffolding incidents are among the most dangerous construction accidents in Florida due to height risks. The higher the scaffolding, the greater the risk of serious harm from a fall. 
Other serious scaffolding risks that can lead to accidents include structural problems, proximity to electrical lines, and inadequate safety measures. 

Which factors cause most accidents on scaffolds?

Scaffolding accidents are preventable, but environmental factors, careless errors, and sometimes both put construction workers in danger. Scaffolding accidents are usually attributed to:

  • Improper assembly or dismantling: This is one of the leading causes of scaffolding accidents. Scaffolds must be assembled and dismantled following specific guidelines and standards. If this is not done correctly, the scaffold can become unstable and collapse.
  • Lack of training: Workers who lack proper training in scaffold use are more likely to make mistakes that can lead to accidents. This includes not understanding how to safely navigate the structure or properly use safety equipment.
  • Inadequate maintenance and inspections: Regular maintenance and inspections are crucial to ensure scaffolding integrity. Neglecting these can lead to weakened or faulty components.
  • Unsafe work practices: This usually involves overloading the scaffold with too much weight, not using personal protective equipment, and using the scaffold in unsafe weather conditions.
  • Defective equipment: Using damaged or defective scaffolding materials can lead to structural failures. This often includes weakened or damaged planks and wear and tear in the wood and/or metal.

What is the OSHA violation for scaffolding?

OSHA scaffolding regulations aim to ensure the safety and structural integrity of scaffolds. Many of the regulations outlined under OSHA standard 1926.451 cover: 

  • Proper assembly and disassembly of scaffolding.
  • Equipment and material maintenance.
  • Fall protection systems.
  • Comprehensive training for workers.

Many construction companies receive OSHA violations for: 

  • Failure to install guardrails or personal fall arrest systems on scaffolds more than 10 feet above a lower level. 
  • Not providing safe access on scaffold platforms more than two feet above or below an access point.
  • Failing to fully plank or deck every platform on all working levels.
  • Not providing adequate training to workers by a qualified person.
  • Failure to regularly inspect scaffolds and their components for potential defects.
  • Using scaffolds in hazardous weather. 
  • Not providing overhead protection for workers on scaffolds under or near areas where overhead hazards exist.

What is the #1 injury when using scaffolding?

Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) commonly occur from scaffolding construction accidents in Florida. Workers often sustain TBIs when they fall from scaffolds or get struck by falling objects. These injuries can have severe and long-lasting impacts on workers. 

Other common injuries related to scaffolding accidents include: 

  • Broken bones.
  • Lacerations and abrasions.
  • Electrocutions and burns.
  • Spinal cord injuries.
  • Musculoskeletal and soft tissue injuries.
  • Crushing injuries from being trapped under debris.

How do I make a scaffolding accident report?

Making a scaffolding report involves several important steps to ensure all relevant information is recorded. Here’s a guideline to work with: 

  • Secure the accident site to prevent further incidents and preserve evidence (if you can). 
  • Notify the site supervisor, safety officer, or foreman. 
  • Record the date and time, location, and description of the incident. 
  • Take note of how the accident occurred.
  • If possible, take pictures or videos of the scaffold accident scene.
  • Gather names and contact information of other injured parties and witnesses.
  • Get immediate medical attention, even if your injuries feel minor.
  • Inform OSHA or other relevant authorities. 
  • Contact a Florida construction accident lawyer. 

What type of compensation am I eligible for after a scaffolding accident?

If you were hurt in a scaffolding accident on a construction site in Florida, the compensation you can seek depends on the specifics of your injury and case. In some cases, you would file a workers’ compensation claim. 

Since workers’ comp in Florida is a “no-fault” system, there’s no need to prove that negligence led to your injury. You must only prove that your injury is legitimate and that it occurred within the scope of your employment. 

However, some scaffolding construction accidents in Florida are caused by a third party’s negligence. A third party is an individual or entity other than your employer or co-workers. In the case of scaffolding accidents, this can include: 

  • An equipment or materials manufacturer or supplier.
  • Contractor or subcontractor working on the same construction site.
  • A property owner. 
  • A utility service provider. 
  • An architect or engineer responsible for a structural design.
  • A utility service provider.

How does workers’ compensation differ from a third-party workplace injury claim?

Workers’ compensation and a third-party workplace injury claim can pay for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and ongoing physical and/or cognitive therapy. However, both types of claims differ. 

Unlike workers’ compensation, a third-party workplace injury claim can compensate you for any pain and suffering you endured due to your injury. This can be physical pain, emotional anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life.

What if I lost a loved one in a scaffolding incident?

If a third party was responsible for your loved one’s death, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim. However, in Florida, wrongful death claims can only be brought forward by spouses and children 25 and under.

A successful wrongful death claim can compensate you for:

  • Medical care related to the deceased’s final injury.
  • Funeral expenses.
  • Loss of support and guidance provided by the deceased.
  • Loss of companionship and protection.
  • Mental pain and suffering. 
  • Loss of prospective net accumulations.

How can a lawyer help me if I was injured in a scaffolding accident?

A lawyer with experience handling claims involving scaffolding accidents in Florida will likely have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations governing construction sites. A construction accident lawyer can thoroughly investigate the incident that caused your injuries and gather the facts to help you build a strong legal claim. 

This may include gathering witness statements, incident reports, company safety records, maintenance logs for the scaffolding equipment, and your medical records. If you’re pursuing a third-party claim, a lawyer can identify the responsible party and fight to hold them accountable. 

They’ll accurately assess all damages you’re entitled to and negotiate for compensation that covers all your current and future losses. Despite insurance companies’ efforts to keep costs down, a lawyer can negotiate for the maximum compensation you deserve.

If negotiations fail, an attorney will be ready to fight for maximum compensation in court.

How do I consult an attorney experienced in handling construction accidents in Florida?

Navigating the aftermath of a construction accident in Florida can be a devastating experience, especially when you’re dealing with physical pain, mounting medical expenses, and the inability to work. When you hire a Florida construction accident attorney, your recovery and peace of mind will be their top priority. They’ll ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way and you’re treated fairly throughout the claims process. 

Consulting with a Florida attorney is simple. Just fill out the contact form below, and a lawyer will contact you to schedule a free consultation. This gives you the opportunity to ask questions, discuss your case, and determine if a lawyer is the right fit for you. Plus, Florida construction accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay unless they win your case.

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Attorney Armando Edmiston is a Hillsborough County personal injury lawyer and lifelong resident who believes in hard work and fair treatment for injured people. Our mission is to ...