Injured? Get help here!
Call Us 24/7 call
(850) 433-6581

Demolition work is inherently dangerous and typically involves the use of heavy construction machinery. Injuries sustained from demolition accidents have the potential to drastically change a person’s life or cause death.

If you or a loved one are injured in a demolition accident, a Miramar Beach demolition accident lawyer could help you pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party to recover compensation. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with a knowledgeable construction injury attorney at Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon.

Available Legal Claims Depend on the Responsible Party

A qualified lawyer could advise on the type of legal claims available to a party injured in a Miramar Beach demolition accident. The appropriate defendant(s) to file a lawsuit against will depend on what caused the accident. Common causes of demolition accidents include:

  • Falling rubble
  • The use of negligent explosives
  • Defective construction equipment
  • Exposure to hazardous substances or materials

If the demolition accident was caused by a negligent construction employee working within the normal scope of their job, you could have a claim against their employer based on the state’s doctrine of strict liability for employers, or respondeat superior. Under this law, employers are strictly liable for injuries sustained by a third party when caused by their employees.

If the demolition accident was caused by the negligent operation of heavy construction equipment, you could also have a claim under the state’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine. Under this law, an owner of a dangerous instrument in Florida is vicariously liable if they loan or give a party permission to use the equipment and that person causes injuries during its use.

Although dangerous instrumentality is most often applicable in scenarios where an individual loans someone their car, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that construction equipment is considered a dangerous instrumentality in Newton v. Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., et al., Case No. SC17-67 (Fla. Sept. 27, 2018).

Premises Liability Provides Another Path to Recovery

In addition to strict liability theories, you could have a premises liability claim against the property owner for negligence after a demolition accident. Property owners owe a general duty to visitors on their premises to maintain safe conditions.

If the demolition project makes an area unsafe, the property owner must ensure that potential visitors have adequate warnings about the potential hazard. The court will determine the duty owed based on the type of visitor, but property owners generally have the highest level of duty to invited guests. In contrast, property owners generally have no duty to trespassers on the premises unless the injury was due to gross negligence or intentional misconduct under Fla. Stat. § 768.075.

To bring a successful premises liability claim, you must prove that the property owner was aware of the hazard and failed to take appropriate action. The owner is also liable if the court determines that a reasonable person would have known about the danger.

If a third-party contractor is responsible for the demolition accident, you could also potentially have a claim based on common law theories of negligence. A Miramar Beach demolition accident attorney could help you determine the appropriate parties to sue for compensation.

Other State Laws Can Limit Recovery

In addition to helping determine the best theories of liability, a Miramar Beach lawyer could help you comply with other state laws that might impact your ability to recover for injuries sustained in a demolition accident.

For example, the state generally requires that claims for negligence are brought within two years of the accident under Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(a), or the court could ultimately dismiss the lawsuit.

If your own negligence contributed to the accident, the court could limit your recovery due to the state’s doctrine of modified comparative negligence under Fla. Stat. § 768.81. If your contributory negligence exceeds 50 percent, you are barred from recovery.

Do Not Delay Consulting With a Miramar Beach Demolition Accident Attorney

You should contact a Miramar Beach demolition accident lawyer immediately if you or a loved one were injured in such an incident. A well-practiced legal professional could help you determine which negligence or strict liability theories apply to your situation.

In addition to recovering damages for economic losses—such as lost wages or medical bills, our attorneys could help you pursue compensation for unquantifiable damages—such as emotional distress or pain and suffering. Call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon today to discuss your legal rights and options.