Workers’ Compensation & Florida Construction Law
Workers’ compensation is a set of laws and regulations that describe the benefits given to an injured employee. These costs help compensate for medical bills, travel, rehabilitation and lost wages after a workplace injury. Construction sites are one of the most dangerous workplaces; therefore, if you are a contractor, it is vital that you provide workers’ compensation plans for all of your employees and subcontractors. In fact, the state of Florida requires all construction businesses to carry workers’ compensation policies to cover workers.
If any of your workers do experience an injury and are not being offered adequate coverage, a respected Gainesville construction lawyer can help you get the coverage your employee needs. The construction law attorneys at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. can also help you provide a safe workplace environment to reduce the risk of workplace injury.
How to Minimize Risks on a Gainesville Construction Site
Construction sites combine incomplete projects and power tools with the elements to pose a serious threat to construction workers. In order to minimize the the dangers for employees and the cost of workers’ compensation, it is beneficial to improve the safety of the worksite. The three most common causes of construction injuries involve:
Heights are responsible for the greatest number of fatalities each year. OSHA advises contractors to use elevated platforms, body harnesses and safety nets in these environments to protect workers. If workers are stationed close to the edge of the building, it is beneficial to guardrail systems that have been integrated with toe boards to prevent them from falling.
It is also estimated that improper use of ladders results in approximately 25,000 injuries a year. This danger can be reduced if workers:
- choose a ladder that is tall enough to use without needing to reach,
- check for grease or other slippery substances, and
- carry few other objects.
While scaffolding is vital to the construction process, it must be installed correctly. In order to build superior and dependable scaffolding, it should be constructed by experienced workers, built on even ground and capable of supporting four times the maximum load.
What to Do if You Are Injured on the Job in Florida
If you do become injured on the job, begin by reporting your injury to your company and keep a copy for yourself. Next, your employer should provide you with a claim form. You will want to fill this out and return it to them as quickly as possible. Make sure to be as detailed as possible about the time, date and details of the incident. An employer is not responsible for providing compensation until this claim is completed, so time is an important factor. Once your employer receives this claim, it is then his or her responsibility for contacting the insurance company and applying for workers’ compensation.
Because of the numerous hazards of working on a construction site, most injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. This includes injuries such as falls to a lower level, overexertion, machinery accidents and many others. However, the solution will be slightly different if your accident is a result of faulty equipment. While you still might apply for workers’ compensation for your medical bills and any necessary rehabilitation, you might be able to sue the manufacturer if the flaw in their product resulted in your injury.
If your claim is denied or you believe you are not receiving proper compensation, contact an experienced Gainesville attorney at the Law Offices of Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. immediately.
Construction Law Firm in Gainesville, FL
Any injury can quickly become costly as medical bills, physical therapy and missed days of work accumulate. The availability of workers’ compensation might be the only resource that will help you through these difficult times. Therefore, it is necessary that you acquire adequate legal representation and advice. If you do suffer from a work related injury, choose a construction law attorney Gainesville, FL residents trust such as those at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A. We have plenty of experience in workers’ compensation cases. Attorney Robert Butts is both a licensed general contractor and a board certified construction law attorney. These qualifications allow him to remain informed about the regulations to which construction companies are held in order to build a more convincing case for you. Contact our Gainesville law firm today to discuss your workers’ comp and construction options.