Workers Compensation And The Construction Industry
Most businesses in Florida have to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but the construction industry is a particularly unique case. Florida law has special restrictions and requirements for construction companies, because the field is so uniformly dangerous – the Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that approximately 20 percent of all fatalities at work are construction-related. If you have been injured while working construction, it is critical to understand your rights.
Risk Creates Higher Safeguards
As one might imagine, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. One in five worker deaths in the country happen in construction, and even more specifically, over half of construction worker fatalities happen because of one of four accident types – the so-called “Fatal Four,” including falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being “caught in between.” Simply because of the nature of the work, there will always be heightened opportunities for a worker to be injured or even killed.
Because of this increased risk, Florida law has unusual requirements for construction companies in terms of workers’ compensation. In every other industry, If you have a non-construction business and you have less than four employees, you are not required as a business owner to carry workers’ compensation. In the construction industry, you must carry workers’ compensation coverage if your business has 1 or more employees – including the owner. If you are injured working on a construction site, but your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, they are opening themselves up to serious legal issues.
If You Are Injured
If you are injured on the job, it is critical that you investigate your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage as soon as possible, and seek out information about your options if they do or do not carry it. If your employer does not have the necessary insurance, you may report them to the state, and in some instances, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them to recover your medical bills, lost wages, and the like.
Be advised, however, that the construction industry is also unique in one other way that may help you receive the care you need – unlike in most other trades, construction industry employers must provide coverage for independent contractors. The definition of ‘independent contractor’ in the relevant statute essentially defines an independent construction contractor as an employee, thus entitling them to coverage. So, if you are technically an independent contractor, you may still be covered, even if you are not aware.
Contact An Orlando Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Construction workers have very difficult jobs, and should be able to receive all the coverage they are entitled to if they are injured on the job. If you have been hurt at work and you are having problems getting the care you need, calling an Orlando workers’ compensation attorney today may be a good first step toward success. The Hornsby Law Group has handled many of these cases and is ready to try and handle yours. Call our offices today for a free consultation.