Although many construction accidents result from failure to observe safety rules, other accidents occur accidentally. If you are injured at a construction site, personal injury law entitles you to compensation. However, the compensation depends on the situation of your employment and the extent to which your employer is responsible for the accident. Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney has attorneys who are well versed with personal injury law in Florida and will help you receive compensation for the injuries you suffered. If you are in Jacksonville, FL, we can help you file a personal injury claim for a construction accident or other personal injuries.

Overview of Personal Injury Laws in Florida

When you are injured at a construction site in Florida, personal injury laws should be the first thing you should look into to know how you can be compensated for the injuries, especially if you think another person was responsible for the accident. Typically, to be able to collect benefits for personal injuries, you must prove that another person was involved or was at fault. That is:

  • The person had a duty of care not to cause any injuries to you;

  • The person failed to observe the duty of care and the failure was directly related to your injuries;

  • As a result of the injuries, you suffered damages.

The statute of limitation for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Florida is four years from the day you were injured. If you don't file within this period, it is assumed that you have given up your right to claim compensation and consequently, you may not receive any benefits.

Florida personal injury compensation revolves around three forms of damages; economic, non-economic and punitive damages. Economic losses include earnings lost due to injuries, medical expenses and any property that was damaged during the accident. they may also include household chores you could not be able to perform due to injuries you sustained and also, expenses incurred to and from the hospital. Non-economic damages are those that are not easy to calculate or be valued in monetary terms. The degree of such damages differs depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. they include pain and suffering, lost family friendship, inconveniences the injuries caused you, disfigurement, amputations, and impairments of your body. Punitive losses are entitled to you if the judge establishes that the accident was intentionally caused by the liable party. It also applies if the party had acted in a careless manner or in a way that shows disregard to other peoples life.

Common Construction Accidents in Florida

A greater percentage of severe and catastrophic injuries are those that occur in the construction site. The accidents are increased by the presence of many workers on the site. In well-run construction sites, such accidents are minimal and those that occur are mainly accidental. Most of the construction injuries can be life changing and the affected victim will not be able to perform his or her duty as usual. The following are the most common construction accident injuries.

  1. Fall Injuries

    On the course of construction, you can fall from objects like ladders, roofs, scaffolding among others. Such accidents occur especially when working on high grounds or tall buildings. They usually result from weak supports or unprotected surfaces. Employees and employers have the following responsibilities related to construction injuries resulting from a slip or a fall:

    • Maintaining a tidy working environment;

    • Following all safety guidelines and regulation as provided by OSHA;

    • Ensuring that you work in a well-lit environment;

    • Wearing protective clothing including footwear, safety glasses, and hardhats;

    • Training and encouraging your fellow workers to observe safety measures;

    • Installing protective equipment in the workplace including guardrails, stop systems and guardrails.

  2. Being Hit by Falling Objects

    Construction sites are bustling and mostly involves materials, tools, and equipment which are in constant or continuous motion. While operating this equipment, you could be struck or hit. You can also be hit by objects that fall from higher ground. When such accidents occur, you can sustain serious injuries. Construction machines and heavy vehicles may also trap or press you against the wall or hard objects. While your employer may be at fault for injuries resulting from falling objects, you are required to observe the following measures:

    • Wear protective clothing and equipment such as hardhats and eyewear;

    • Place construction objects on stable or flat grounds to prevent them from rolling and falling;

    • Pay attention to the risks of falling objects in the working environment;

    • Keep off from objects that are suspended or piled because they can easily fall;

    • Keep equipment in safe places.

  3. Being Caught Between Heavy Construction Machines and Equipment

    Machines that transport equipment and materials can cause injuries. You could be trapped in between objects that could crush, squeeze or even compress you against other objects. Employees are expected to:

    • Stay away from equipment that rotates while operating;

    • Avoid loose clothing while operating near rotating equipment;

    • Wear appropriate protective gear;

    • Stay alert concerning heavy machinery and equipment in the construction sites;

  4. Electrocutions

    Electricity is involved at almost all levels of the construction process. Despite many regulations that construction companies and OSHA have put in place to prevent instances of electrocution accidents, they still occur regularly. When you are electrocuted, you can suffer from severe burns, acute muscular contractions, cardiac arrests, and nerve damages. Electrocution injuries often occur due to failure to adhere to safety measures put in place, risk working environment, faulty electrical installation, and misuse of tools that use electricity.

    Construction sites employees are required to:

    • Wear protective clothing on the head, eyes and any part that can come into contact with electricity. Such protections may include insulated clothing and equipment;

    • De-energize or switch off equipment properly;

    • Keep a safe distance from electrical parts and equipment;

    • Observe electrical safety requirements for all equipment.

  5. Trench Collapse

    A trench, building or any structures that are being constructed may collapse, killing or seriously injuring the workers inside it. Such an accident also occurs during a demolition of a structure. The cause of such an accident can be determined easily but in most cases, the negligence can be cited to a particular issue that will enable you to get compensation without proof of who exactly was negligent.

  6. Sunstrokes, Heatstroke, Overexertion and Repetitive Motion Accidents

    Construction is a heavy duty industry. Workers mostly apply excessive physical force and work on an environment exposed to harsh weather like extreme temperature conditions. As a result, you could;

    • Experience joint and muscle pains;

    • Injuries related to repetitive motions;

    • Heat stress especially where the temperature is high;

    • Hypothermia caused by cold weather. In this case, you tend to lose parts of your fingers, face, and toes due to cold conditions.

  7. Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

    While working in unsafe construction sites, you may get exposed to poisonous substances like lead, and other substances which are known to be carcinogenic. Long term exposure to these toxic substances may lead to cancer-related complications.

    Other construction accidents include tripping or slipping on debris, cables and any other obstacle, severe bruises and burns, loss of vision and hearing ability, broken hands and/or legs, traumatic injuries, brain damages, injuries to the internal organs, musculoskeletal injuries, paralysis, spinal cord damages, deafness, among others.

    According to OSHA, electrocution, being hit by the falling objects, falls, and being caught in between machines are the most deadly construction accidents. In fact, they have been nicknamed “fatal four”.

    Apart from an active accident that occurs on the construction site, old building and construction materials may become sources of hazardous substances which may result in the development of chronic diseases such as silicosis, asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer.

What Can I Do After A Construction Accident?

If you are injured at a construction site and you want to file for a personal injury claim, you have to:

  • Seek medication; Ensure that you are healthy and safe by visiting a doctor who will assess the level of injuries and then provide medication. ensure to keep all the medical reports and receipts for all medical expenses

  • Collect all the information that will serve as evidence in your case. This will include the photos of the construction site where the accident occurred, witnesses including their contact information, medical reports among any other relevant documentation.

  • Asses the damages you suffered. At this stage, you may need to involve an attorney who will assess the extent of losses you suffered including the economic and non-economic damages.

  • File a complaint. Now that you have all the necessary evidence and your attorney has assessed the damages, you should file the complaint against those who you think is responsible for your injuries.

  • Discovery; At this stage, the parties involved try to investigate or find out the claims they have about the accident and the alleged injuries. This step also allows each party to investigate their defenses.

  • Mediation; At this point, you and the other party should have gathered all the necessary information. You, therefore, start striving to reach an agreement. Mediation involves both parties with their clients and mediators for both sides. The mediators will help the lawyers reach an agreement over the dispute.

  • Personal injury trial; You proceed to this level if mediation did not solve your issues. The duration that this stage will take vary from hours to even months. At this point, all of the evidence gathered at prior stages are utilized.

At times, your doctor may refuse to approve your rights to compensation claims. This happens if he or she believes that you are faking your claims or you are able to work contrary to your claim. Working closely with a personal injury attorney will be of help to you at such a point. The attorney will help review your doctor's claims and determine if you should proceed with the compensation claims process.

Safety Guidelines in Construction Accident Injuries

OSHA provides safety regulations that all employees and employers must adhere to in any construction site. particularly, the employers and owners of the construction sites should ensure a safe and danger-free environment to their employees. Similarly, Florida statute under chapter 533 outlines the standards and the safety requirements that building and construction sectors must observe. For instance, employers and construction site supervisors should:

  • Create a program that communicates the possible risks to workers on the construction site;

  • Provide tools and equipment that are safe for use by the workers;

  • Notify the employees of the OSHA safety requirements. If possible, display such regulations;

  • Remove risks and hazardous condition from the workplace as much as possible;

  • Train workers adequately on the safety measures;

  • Supervise and guide employees throughout hazardous construction practices;

  • Inspect and determine the safety of the construction site;

  • Ensure that employees adhere to the safety measures set by OSHA and chapter 533 of the Florida statute;

  • Provide workers with safety equipment such as hardhats eyeglasses and gloves among others;

  • Put in use safety measures such as warning signs, tapes, and any other safety measures.

In determining liability, Florida Premise Liability law holds property owners liable for any injuries that visitors incur while at the property. Visitors on a premise are categorized into three different groups and the level of duty of care that the property owners have on them differ. The groups include business invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Business invitees are those who are invited into the business for a particular task. In a construction site, they include all the employees and supervisors. The property owner (construction site owners) owe such people a greater percentage of duty of care. Should any accident meet these people, the property owners should be fully liable. Licensees include social guests, friends, and family members who may have entered the premise or the property. The property owners also owe them a great duty of care. They should be notified of any possible danger. Trespassers also should be taken care of through warnings. If that is not done, the owner of the property will be responsible for the injuries they suffer.

For you to succeed in premise liability;

  • The owner of the property should have been aware of the dangers in the construction site;

  • He or she failed to remove the danger or failed to warn you against the dangers;

  • The dangerous conditions led to your injuries.

Generally, personal injury law considers who is at fault for any injuries that an individual suffers. Therefore, if the accident that caused your injuries was as a result of your employer or construction supervisors not adhering to the outlined rules, they should be held liable. The same applies if the person at fault was your co-employer.

What Happens If Two Or More People Are Responsible For My Injury?

Florida personal injury law has a joint and several liability rules. Such rules provide a succinct system through which compensation can be done where more than one person is at fault.

If you are partially responsible for the injury, comparative negligence law will be applied. The law dictates that if you are to be blamed partially for the injuries, your expected benefits should be substantially reduced.

If a product is responsible for your injury, you should prove that the company was responsible for the production of a defective product which injured you. But unlike other personal injuries, you do not need to prove that the company was negligent. Instead, the strict liability law demands that the company has a duty of ensuring that the product it produces is safe for use. If the dangerous product failed to comply with those standards and as a result, the product injured you, you can file a lawsuit against the product manufacturer.

Evidence That Support Your Construction Injuries Claims

When pursuing a personal injury claim, evidence pointing to the actual cause of the accident is critical. A given record may help prove that your injuries were indeed caused by another person’s negligence. It can also help secure compensation for lost wages, medical expenses suffered as well as the pain and suffering the accident caused you. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you compile the necessary evidence that will help in the process of claiming for compensation.

The evidence includes:

Accident reports

The reports about the accident gathered from the workplace or the facility where the accident occurred offer a solid and non-biased picture or prove what caused the accident.

Statements from the eye witness

Eyewitnesses can also serve as the best proof for the accident. It is prudent that you collect the names and any vital information from them as they might be needed to give an account of the accident. They can also give other information about the accident which can enhance the chances of you being compensated.


Whenever you are involved in an accident, you should take a photo of the situation. You may not be able to take them yourself; in that case, you can ask another person to do it for you. The visual images portrayed in the photo can show the damages caused by the accident, the scene where the accident occurred and the degree of injuries you suffered. The photos can also help in determining the actual cause of the accident, thus, determining the party liable for your accident.

Insurance policy

Insurance policy spells out what is covered and the accidents that you are protected from. You should ensure that you have a copy of the insurance policies which you should share with your attorney. Typically, your attorney will read through your insurance policy to find out the injuries and the types of accidents covered. He or she will then determine if you should continue with the claim or not.

Medical reports

Medical reports are also important in proving the accident you were involved in. You should ensure that you have copies of medical reports related to your injuries, the treatments you underwent, and any other medical information. The reports will show how severe the injuries were as well as the extent to which the accident impacted your health. Medical bills will also show the medical expenses the injuries costed you.

Can I Sue A Third Party?

You can be able to sue a third party following your construction accident injuries especially if the cause of your injuries was defective tools, machines or any other equipment used in the construction. Typically, your employer will be exempted from this case but may decide to help you in the process of suing. You can also sue your employer if you know that they were aware of the defective nature of the tools but let you use them. Negligence has to be reviewed for this case. A negligence case is reviewed when:

  • An employer/coworker owed you a duty of care;

  • The employer violated the duty to care about you;

  • By violating the responsibility of care, the employer caused your injuries;

  • The injuries resulted in substantial damages to you

Can I File a Lawsuit For a Wrongful Death Resulting From a Construction Accident?

If you are a close relative or a family member to an employee whom you believed died wrongfully in a construction accident, you can file a lawsuit on their behalf. You should file the wrongful death claims no later than two years from the date the victim died. The damages associated with wrongful death include;

  • The value of the wages lost as a result of the employee's death,

  • Other benefits lost due to the employees premature death such as insurance and retirement benefits

  • Lost companionship with family, love, guidance, and affection.

Other losses may include punitive damages. In the state of Florida, claims related to wrongful death adhere strictly to set rules. If you try to pursue it alone, you may easily lose. You will require the services of a skilled attorney.

Find an Experienced Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

Injuries associated with construction accidents are often devastating and life-changing. Filing for personal injury claims on your own may also prove difficult. Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney is experienced in personal injury laws of Florida. Our attorneys will help you receive benefits for injuries related to construction accidents. We offer services to our all personal injury victims throughout Jacksonville, FL. If you want to hire our services, you can call us at 904-800-7557 for a free consultation.