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Construction sites are notoriously dangerous. Heavy equipment, electricity, power tools, heights, and other hazards can lead to severe accidents and injuries. They are particularly dangerous for construction workers who are on-site every day. However, they also pose a risk to contractors and even bystanders.

If you have been injured at a construction site, the details become very important. Florida is a workers’ compensation state. So, for employees, workers’ comp may cover the injuries. However, for contractors and bystanders, a negligence claim may be the best avenue for recovery. Discussing the case with a Miramar Beach construction accident lawyer could help you understand your legal options. Call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.

Filing for Workers’ Compensation After a Job Site Injury

Workers’ compensation is a way for workers to recover for workplace injuries without having to establish fault. If the injury occurred at work and the worker was an employee, it should be covered.

The trade-off is that workers’ compensation benefits are generally lower than what a person would receive in a negligence lawsuit for the same injury. It covers medical care and some lost wages; however, benefits do not typically provide lost wage coverage unless a worker misses more than seven work days. In addition, there may be limits on non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

Furthermore, workers’ comp only covers employees — not contractors. However, the law looks at a worker’s actual duties and ability to direct their work, not just the employer’s designation of the employee. Even if a worker is a 1099 employee, they may qualify for coverage.

The major problem with workers’ comp is that insurers and employers may deny claims. They may argue that an illness or injury did not occur at work, that a person was not an employee, or that the injury is less extensive than it is. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so they always have an incentive to try to reduce or eliminate payouts. A skilled construction accident lawyer in Miramar Beach could help negotiate workers’ compensation settlements, appeal denials, or otherwise help people through the claims process.

Other Avenues for Financial Recovery

If workers’ compensation insurance does not cover a person, they may still have a claim based on a construction accident. They need to identify the wrongdoer and demonstrate how their negligence contributed to the accident. Fortunately, there is a group of federal rules and regulations that simplify the process.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) sets standards to protect worker safety, including workers on construction sites. Whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, OSHA standards establish what is reasonable behavior in a construction site. A Miramar Beach construction accident attorney could compare the construction site’s conditions to OSHA regulations to help establish a negligence claim.

Furthermore, an injured person may have a third-party claim for recovery. Even if workers’ comp applies, a third party may still be responsible for the accident. Suppose the third party is an independent contractor or other person who was not under the direction and control of the employer. In that case, a worker may have a negligence claim against them.

For example, suppose a worker was electrocuted because an independent contractor electrician was negligent. In that case, the worker might be able to pursue a workers’ comp claim from their employer—which does not require showing fault—and a negligence lawsuit against the electrician.

Since many construction sites involve multiple contractors working in various capacities, someone may have several different types of claims. Exploring all options is vital to maximize recovery for an injured individual.

Consult a Construction Accident Attorney in Miramar Beach

The first thing to do after a construction accident is to seek medical care. Timely medical care serves two purposes. First, early intervention can help prevent injuries from worsening, preserving your health. Second, seeking medical care immediately after an injury can help establish a timeline for litigation or workers’ comp claims.

The next thing to do is schedule a consultation with a Miramar Beach construction accident lawyer. They can discuss the facts of the case with you and explore your various options for recovery. If you have a workers’ compensation claim, they could help you file it, maximizing your chances for approval. If you have negligence claims, they could initiate that process, as well. The earlier you contact a qualified attorney, the more knowledge you will have during the settlement process. Call the legal team at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today to get started.