Who Is Responsible for an Industrial Accident Injury?
Industrial accidents most frequently occur at a work site, such as a factory or a construction site. The category of industrial accidents ranges from a worker on a floor to huge environmental disasters that can affect a vast population of people. They can occur due to negligence on the part of the employer, manufacturer, general contractor, or landowner, among others.
A typical workplace injury does not allow the employee to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. Workers are limited to filing for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the employer may be liable for excess damages in a personal injury lawsuit if there was deliberate intention on the part of the employer to produce the accident and cause injury or death.
Industrial accidents can happen due to faulty equipment or defective products made by manufacturers. If the defective product was flawed in the design, manufactured negligently, or did not include proper warnings, the manufacturer of that equipment or product could be held responsible for the injured party’s damages.
In some cases, workers perform their jobs on various work sites and properties. These claims apply to both business and property owners who have a duty to keep their premises safe so that workers are not injured. If a business or landowner neglects to provide a safe environment for employees working on their property, they can be found liable. These accidents can include unsafe conditions on premises, machinery or equipment that is not properly secured, slip-and-fall accidents, moving objects, falling objects or debris that is on site, as well as liability for criminal acts of third parties.
Any subcontractors brought on site by the general contractor are also responsible for ensuring job safety and following proper regulations designated by OSHA. However, the general contractor is still responsible if these subcontractors are injured due to unsafe working conditions or negligence on the part of the person in charge.
How a Lawyer Can Help with a Florida Industrial Accident Claim
When you are injured, you not only face pain and suffering from your injury, but emotional and financial stress that is brought on by medical expenses and lost income. If your injury is severe and debilitating, you may never return to work again. You may face a lifetime of treatment, surgeries, therapy, and rehabilitation, and the medical expenses can be astronomical.
A devastating injury can lead to serious financial hardship which you and your family should not deal with alone. You need experienced attorneys who will guide you through this difficult process.
Industrial accident cases are often complicated. It takes a deep knowledge of the law to understand who is liable for what and how much compensation to ask for. Trying to handle a lawsuit of this complexity on your own, while simultaneously trying to recover from your injuries, is unlikely to turn out well.
When you hire the law firm of Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A., for legal representation, our lawyers will do whatever it takes to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience in workers’ compensation and personal injury law helping clients in Gainesville, Alachua County, and throughout Florida.
Compensation for Losses in an Industrial Accident in Florida
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible for different kinds of compensation. There are two main types of claims you might pursue after an industrial accident:
Employees who are injured on the job in an industrial accident are typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. These benefits cover all related medical bills and partial wage replacement for time lost from work. In some instances, the insurance company may deny the claim and argue that the injury did not happen during the course of employment. In other cases, the insurer may attempt to reduce the amount of the claim or determine that certain medical treatment is not needed or excessive. When workers’ compensation claims are in danger of being reduced or denied, you need counsel from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help defend your claim.
A claim for damages against a third party depends on several factors. A subcontractor or supplier may have been negligent in handling installation of parts, or the company may have defective products or equipment made by a negligent manufacturer, for example. A manufacturer could be liable for damages caused by defects or dangerous properties of the product. An injured worker might be able to claim damages based on premises liability, which holds the owner of land liable for damages caused by dangerous conditions on the property.
Third party cases can vary. For example, if a subcontractor was injured on the job, the company will not pay the subcontractor worker’s compensation since they are not a direct employee. However, the sub-contractor could file a claim against the company’s liability insurance policy to cover medical expenses and damages.
Companies, manufacturers, and their insurance companies have teams of lawyers to justify the denial of claims in these types of circumstances. It is important for injured victims to seek legal representations to protect their rights.
Common Industrial Accident Injuries
Industrial accidents can cause catastrophic injuries such as brain injury, amputation of limbs, electrocution, broken bones, or other injuries that require surgeries and expensive medical treatment.
Some of the most common types of injuries include:
How Long Do You Have to File an Industrial Accident Claim in Florida?
If you are filing a personal injury claim relating to an industrial accident, the statute of limitations restricts the amount of time that you are permitted to file a lawsuit.
In Florida, injured victims have four years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. The state law has a few narrow exceptions to the four-year limit. In cases where an injury is not immediately apparent or detectable, the four-year period for filing a lawsuit starts on the date when the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been discovered instead of the actual date of the work zone accident.