Unfortunately, workplace injuries and deaths are quite common in Florida and throughout the United States. If you have lost a loved one in an on-the-job accident, you need to reach out to a seasoned Miami workplace accident attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand the devastation that an unexpected death can have on a family, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.
Although the national average of workplace deaths has declined in recent years, Florida’s workplace fatalities have risen, making it the state with the third-highest number of fatal work injuries in the country. While the workplace death rate in Florida is still lower than the national average, things seem to be moving in the wrong direction. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida’s workplace fatalities rose from a rate of 2.7 for every 1,000 full-time workers to 3.1 for every 1,000 workers. Meanwhile, the national workplace fatality rate dropped from 3.43 to 3.38.
While a workplace accident can lead to death in any industry, it most often happens in construction. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one-fifth of the nationwide workplace deaths in 2015 were in the construction industry. The four leading causes of death in the construction industry were as follows: falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being caught in-between equipment, objects, or collapsing structures.
Workplace deaths in Florida are covered by Florida’s workers’ compensation program, which pays a death benefit if a work-related death takes place within one year of the date of a work-related accident or within five years of a continuous disability related to an occupational illness or injury. Up to $150,000 may be paid in total to help cover funeral expenses, weekly payments to eligible dependents, and educational benefits to the surviving spouse. Workers’ compensation is typically the “exclusive remedy,” meaning an injured worker typically cannot sue the employer for an accident.
There are certain limited exceptions to the “exclusive remedy” rule, one of them being if your loved one’s death was caused by a third party. A third party may include anyone besides the employer who caused the accident. For example, if the death was caused by faulty machinery, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer or retailer of the machinery. A claim against the manufacturer would be a product liability claim, rather than a workers’ compensation claim. Third-party claims may arise in a number of ways. We can scrutinize the circumstances of your loved one’s death and determine if a third-party claim may be appropriate.
If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, it is imperative to reach out to a skilled Miami construction accident attorney who can help you through this extremely stressful time. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand that when a person is killed, it can create a host of financial and emotional problems for a family. You can rest assured that we are committed to holding negligent parties accountable and helping you seek the compensation you deserve for your harm. For more information about your legal rights and options, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.
More Blog Posts:
Summary Judgment in Florida Personal Injury Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, November 2, 2017
Crush Injuries Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, November 2, 2017
Preponderance of the Evidence Standard in Florida Civil Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, November 2, 2017