Recently in Work Related Accidents Category

June 23, 2009

Lighthouse Point, Florida Crane Accident Kills Coconut Creek Man

Despite the recent economic downturn, cranes can be seen dotting the South Florida horizon, especially in the downtown areas of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade County.  This equipment has undoubtedly helped our society build higher and faster than at any other time in history.  However, this equipment also poses a real danger of construction site accidents and injuries due to crane failure and improper operation.  This danger of injury or death is present in various types of crane systems including mobile, truck and rail mounted cranes and overhead cranes.

Just recently, a Coconut Creek man was pinned beneath a crane after it collapsed while performing maintenance on a seawall.  The man was pulled from the twisted wreckage by his co-workers, but later died from his crane collapse injuries at North Broward Medical Center.  The accident is currently being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 

According to the Sun-Sentinel, there have been 26 such crane accidents in the South Florida area since 1990.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 72 crane-related fatal occupational injuries in 2006 and an average of 78 crane-related fatalities from 2003-2005.  Florida had the second highest fatal occupational crane injuries in the nation with 27 deaths from 2003 to 2006.

When crane accidents cause injury or death from either the crane collapsing or objects falling from the crane, it is often a labor intensive process to determine liability.  Many times, a party other than the employer of the operator is responsible or at least partially responsible for the injuries caused by a crane accident--whether it be the manufacturer of the crane that failed to properly design, manufacture or warn against dangers of the crane, the owner of the crane that failed to properly maintain or inspect the crane, or any number of potentially liable parties.  Because so many various scenarios can occur on construction sites with crane accidents, if you have been injured in a crane accident, it is important to contact an attorney that is experienced in handling construction and crane accidents to ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

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March 11, 2009

Construction Accidents in Broward and Miami-Dade

Although the downturn in the economy has slowed construction in Broward and Miami-Dade county, the familiar image of numerous cranes dotting the skyline and the commonplace sound of hammering and building are still fresh in the Floridian mind.  With all this new construction also comes the potential for injury and death from construction accidents.  These accidents often include falls, electric shock, tool injuries, equipment failure such as defective cranes, and other accidents that can cause serious injury or death.

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007 there were 27,900 construction accidents in private industry in Florida.  Although not limited to construction accidents, 362 people died in work related injuries in Florida in 2007.  The number of construction site accidents has risen to such a level of concern that the Florida legislature was motivated in February to propose a bill that would create a state safety standard for the use of cranes at construction and demolition sites.

Often times construction site accidents are handled through workers' compensation claims.  There are complex instances that require the help of a South Florida personal injury attorney in order to fully investigate and determine if liability will be covered by a workers' compensation claim or some other type of personal injury claim.  With the growing number of job site accidents, it is important for workers and others to exercise caution while on a construction site, but also to fully know their rights if an injury does occur.

Our firm's lead partner, Dan Cytryn, obtained an $11.5 million dollar jury verdict for the mother of a young man who died in a fall from a construction site roof. 

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February 17, 2009

Fort Lauderdale Electrical Accident Causes Pembroke Pines Man's Death

Broward County:  Junior Seaton of Pembroke Pines, FL died Monday in Fort Lauderdale after coming into contact with a power line he was helping repair.  Seaton, a Florida Power and Light (FPL) employee, had allegedly completed his work on the power lines at the 600 block of East Broward Blvd. when he returned to the lines and was electrocuted.  Seaton was taken to Broward General Medical Center but died shortly after arrival according to reports. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 212 workers died nationwide from electrocution in 2007.  Of those deaths, 21 were from Florida.  However, not all deaths from electrocution happen in the workplace.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that there were 400 deaths from electrocution in the United States in 2000.  Of those electrical deaths, the CPSC estimates that 150 deaths were caused by consumer products.  Although the percentage of electrocution deaths attibutable to consumer products declined between the years 1990 and 2000, it is important to be vigilant in adhering to proper usage and warning labels on all electrical devices.

Although the Seaton work-related accident will presumably be handled legally as a worker's compensation claim, compensation for other electrical injuries or deaths caused by the negligence of another can be persued through personal injury claims or wrongful death actions.  Some examples of these types of claims include defective products that cause electrocution despite proper use, negligently maintained electrical equipment, downed power lines, and unguarded electrical installations.  The legal issues surrounding an electrical accident that results in injury or death can be complex, and the injured party or his/her family should contact an attorney for answer to any questions that may arise.


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January 31, 2009

Florida Workers Injured On Job May Be Entitled To More Than Work Comp

Florida workers injured on the job may be entitled to more damages than Worker's Compensation for the accident or injury. Whether Florida workers injured on the job can collect more compensation than the Worker's Compensation depends upon whether the accident that they were involved in was caused by a 'third party's negligence or fault.

A Florida worker injured on the job can collect for pain and suffering and a multitude of other damages if the injury was caused by a third party. In such a case, the victim can sue that third party for damages in excess of what worker's compensation will pay.

A Florida worker (or the worker's family, if the worker is killed), may be able to sue and to collect more than Worker's Compensation, if the worker is injured or killed as a result of:

1. a car or other vehicular accident where anybody BUT a co-worker is at fault.

2. the worker being injured on a jobsite by someone's negligence who is not a co-employee and not an employee of the contractor on the job (i.e., the worker is injured by the negligence of the employee of another subcontractor).

3. Trips or Slips and falls while working on a condition not caused by the employee's employer, or at a location not owned or maintained by the worker's employer.

4. a defectively manufactured piece of equipment or machinery (and which injury is not due to the employer's negligence).

5. what amounts to an intentional act of the employer or an act of the employer substantially certain to result in injury or death to the employee

6. situations where the injured employee is not actually on the clock and not actually in the course and scope of employment with the employer

7. a defectively maintained piece of equipment which is rented or leased by the employer and where the inadequate maintenance is not due to the employee's employer's negligence

8. the person being an independent contractor and not an actual employee

Every Florida worker's compensation accident should be looked at to see if there is any exception to the general rule that a worker injured on the job is entitled to collect only worker's compensation from the worker's employer. The general rule is very general, and many more exceptions exist. The above list is not intended to be all-inclusive, but is intended to demonstrate the most common exceptions where a worker injured on the job may be entitled to substantial additional compensation over and above any worker's compensation settlement.

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