Construction Accidents – What You Need to Know
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What damages can be recovered in my Miami construction accident case?
A: There are many factors that determine the damages that can be recovered in your construction accident case. The injured worker is entitled to recover damages for past, current and future medical bills, any wage loss, and mental and physical suffering. If the defendant’s behavior was not appropriate – the punitive damages can also be sought. If an injured party dies as a result of an accident, the close relatives may be entitled to recover full compensation for their economic and mental losses including damages that originate from the loss of a loved one’s presence, care and companionship. If you have been injured in a construction accident in Miami, we can help by offering you our knowledge and experience. Call Klemick and Gampel Law Firm of Miami today at (305) 707-6436.
Q: Is it possible to get more than just the workers’ compensation if I was injured while working on a construction site?
A: The financial responsibility that your employer bears in case you were injured is affected by workers’ compensation laws however other people may be legally responsible for the injuries you have sustained. Those entities can be third-party contractors, equipment manufacturers or property owners. Recovery from those parties is not affected by workers’ compensation laws but remember that your success depends solely on your attorney’s knowledge and experience. Klemick and Gampel law firm has it all for the success of your case. Contact us today for an estimate of your case.
Q: Can I sue my employer if I am hurt on the job?
A: The quick answer is no. Under Florida’s worker’s compensation law, F.S. 440.11 the legislature says that an employer cannot be sued if they have worker’s compensation insurance.
The Legislature did provide two exceptions. The first is where the employer does two types of work. For example, you are working as a county bus driver and you are rear ended by a county garbage truck. The second provides a limited exception where the employer’s actions intended to injure the employee or were substantially certain to injure the employee (Pre 2003). In 2003, the Legislature added that the employer must “conceal or misrepresent the danger” in order for the employee to sue the employer.
In the recent Supreme Court case of Bakerman v. The Bombay Company, Inc., 32 Fla.L.Weekly S. 342 the Court summarized the law. The case started in September 1997. Martin Bakerman was working at a Bombay Company store when he fell from a ladder and was injured. The ladder was used nearly a dozen times every day by employees for stocking goods from the shelves in the storeroom, and the ladder was clearly in poor condition. Not only this, but Bakerman could tell that the ladder was not safe to be used. He told his manager about his concerns and she then told the district manager, requesting a new ladder. When asked, the district manager said that he did not remember ever being asked for a new ladder.
When Bakerman fell from the top of the ladder, the bones on his left heel were pulverized. Even though Bakerman received workers’ compensation, he later went on to sue Bombay. This reason he decided to sue was because he felt that there was a case for intentional tort. The case went before a jury and they determined that the company was 67% to blame in the case and the victim was 33% to blame. Bakerman was given a verdict of $118,228.20, but Bombay appealed. When the case went to the Third District, they determined that there was not enough evidence to support concealment of danger.