Examples of Construction Accident Case Law in Florida
Florida courts have a strong history of protecting construction accident victims. One example of a construction accident case in Florida courts is the case of Newton v. Caterpillar Financial Services. The 2018 case reversed a lower court decision and stated that the defendant could be liable for the personal injury accident.
The victim was an independent contractor. He was working to clear debris from a lot. The company leased a multi-terrain loader to clear the lot. The victim climbed inside the disposable trailer to clear debris. A tree stump rolled over the man’s hand and severed his finger.
The court said that the victim could bring a suit against the owner of the terrain loader. They said that the loader is an inherently dangerous instrument. Because it’s dangerous, vicarious liability applies to the owner who entrusts operation of the vehicle to a negligent operator. There is no single determining factor for when a piece of equipment is dangerous instrumentality. Florida considers a variety of favors based on the fact that the instrumentality can cause death or destruction if it is misused.
Florida Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine
The Florida dangerous instrumentality doctrine is a Florida law that may apply in construction accident cases. The purpose of the law is to give accident victims a path to hold an equipment owner responsible when a dangerous piece of equipment hurts someone. Large pieces of construction equipment may qualify as dangerous instrumentality.
Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine imposes strict vicarious liability on the owner of the dangerous equipment. When it causes harm, the victim may bring the claim against the entity that owns the equipment in addition to the person directly responsible for its negligent operation. A person who is hurt in a construction accident should be aware of the existence of the Florida dangerous instrumentality doctrine. If it applies to you, it may be a viable path to receive a fair financial recovery when you’re hurt.
Construction Accident Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Compensation
When you’re the victim of a construction accident, both workers compensation and personal injury law may come into play. Workers compensation is a way for an employee to have fast access to medical care and replacement income. It applies in most cases when you’re hurt while on the job. Under the system, you don’t have to prove that the employer is at fault for the accident.
However, you may receive additional compensation by bringing a third-party claim. Only third-party claims are eligible for pain and suffering. Even if you’re hurt on the job, the case may still qualify for a third-party claim against someone other than the employer. To go that route, traditional negligence laws are what the court looks at in order to determine legal liability.
Construction Accidents That Do Not Occur on the Job
There are some circumstances where a construction accident does not occur on the job. You might be hurt while passing under scaffolding on a busy city street. An accident can happen while you’re a guest or visitor on a construction site. If a construction accident takes place while you’re not on the job, compensation is available based on negligence laws. Workers compensation is not in play, and all of the negligence laws that apply in the state of Florida, or wherever the accident occurs, can help the victim recover fair compensation.
Miami Construction Accident Attorneys Free Consultation
Have you been hurt in a construction accident? We invite you to meet our Miami construction accident attorneys for your free consultation. Let’s talk about your case and your options.
We offer contingency representation with no fee unless you win. Attorney-client privilege applies. Our team wants to protect your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve. Call us today.