Articles Posted in Workplace Injury

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Workplace accidents are common in Florida. In fact, there are, on average, between 200 and 250 work-related deaths each year across the state and many thousands more injuries. When someone is injured or killed on the job due to the negligence of another party, the injured person or their family may be entitled to monetary compensation, either through a workers’ compensation claim or through a traditional negligence lawsuit. If someone loses a loved one in a Florida work-related accident, they may be able to seek compensation through either of these means, depending on the circumstances of the accident.

crane-1549933Most of the time, a workers’ compensation claim, if available, is the sole remedy for the injured party. However, in some workplace accidents, workers’ compensation will not be deemed to be the sole remedy and the injured worker can file a personal injury claim against the allegedly negligent party. This is generally the case when the allegedly negligent party is not the injured or deceased worker’s employer. There is also a narrow exception carved out for when the employer’s willful or intentional conduct caused the worker’s injuries.

If a workplace accident case is brought, the plaintiff must prove three elements before they will be able to recover for their injuries. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them some duty of care. Second, the injured worker must show that the defendant breached that duty by some action or inaction. Finally, the worker must show that their injuries were caused by the defendant’s actions. This final element is called causation.

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Earlier this month, construction began on a new parking garage at Miami-Dade College’s West Campus in Doral, Florida. The new garage will replace the existing garage that tragically collapsed two years ago, killing four construction workers who were working at the time when the garage collapsed.

parking-ramp-530784-mAccording to one local news report, the garage was under construction when a support column gave out, causing the garage to collapse on top of those working inside at the time. A total of four men lost their lives in the tragic collapse. An attorney for the college told reporters that “there was a column–a structural column–that needed to have grout or some kind of cement … They missed–they simply missed the fact that the column was not grouted safely.”

Since then, the college has been in negotiations to secure construction contracts for a new, safer garage. In the wake of the accident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation, finding that there was a failure to provide a workplace that was “free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.”

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