The construction industry consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. By definition, construction sites are “works in progress,” with unfinished structures, open excavations, open heights, and heavy machinery at every turn. In addition, much of the work that is done at a construction site involves equipment or tools that have the potential to cause serious injury in the event of a malfunction or misuse. While these accidents can cause a variety of injuries, among the most serious are traumatic brain injuries1, or TBIs. These injuries occur when head trauma causes a problem with normal brain function and have the potential to result in long-term disabilities and other complications.
Construction site accidents can affect workers, visitors, and even passers-by to a construction zone. When these accidents are caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, the people who are affected can often recover for their injuries by filing a personal injury claim. Not all construction site accidents give rise to a legal claim, however, so anyone who has sustained an injury at an active site should consult with an experienced Clearwater traumatic brain injury attorney to determine whether they have a claim.
A word regarding workers’ compensation
Florida, like all states, has a workers’ compensation2 program that operates to compensate employees who are injured in on-the-job accidents without requiring them to prove fault. These laws preclude injured workers from filing tort lawsuits against their employers in return for these no-fault benefits. There are some cases, however, in which an injured worker may still be able to assert a claim after a workplace injury. These circumstances include:
- Injuries caused by defective products (e.g. tools, equipment, machinery, or vehicles)
- Injuries cause 3rd parties, such as independent contractors at a construction site
- Injuries caused by an employer’s intentional conduct
- Injuries caused by a toxic substance present at a construction site
Because the recovery obtained from a personal injury case can often significantly exceed the benefits provided by workers’ compensation, injured employees should always explore whether they may be able to sue by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney.
What kinds of construction site injuries may cause a traumatic brain injury?
As mentioned above, a blow or jolt to the head is generally what causes a traumatic brain injury. While there are many ways that this can occur at a construction site, some of the most common include the following:
Falls from heights – Construction sites often require employees to work at significant heights. While workers generally are required to use safety equipment to protect them from falling, this equipment may fail, potentially resulting in a fall that may cause a TBI.
Falling objects – Falling objects that strike someone in the head can similarly cause a traumatic brain injury.
Vehicle and equipment accidents – Most construction sites have vehicles and heavy equipment that is capable of moving from place to place. When these vehicles are involved in accidents, occupants may sustain a traumatic brain injury.
Explosions – Construction often requires the use of chemicals or gases that have the potential to explode. If an explosion occurs, a nearby individual may be thrown several feet or be struck by flying debris, potentially resulting in a traumatic brain injury.
There are myriad other ways that a person could sustain a traumatic brain injury while at or around a construction site. Victims should always consult with a lawyer in order to determine whether they may have the right to sue.
Contact a Clearwater traumatic brain injury attorney today to schedule a free consultation
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most serious injuries that a person can sustain, and often may lead to medical issues or disabilities that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Florida tort law3 often allows people who sustain TBIs while working or visiting a construction site to bring a legal action in order to recover for their injuries and other losses. While some claims may be prohibited by Florida’s workers’ compensation statute, it is still worthwhile for injured victims to have an experienced personal injury lawyer review the facts of their case and determine whether they may have the right to sue. The attorneys of the Dolman Law Group are committed to helping people who have sustained traumatic brain injuries obtain justice through the Florida civil courts. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756