Workplace injuries occur with alarming frequency across Florida. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Florida suffered 272 fatal workplace accidents in 2015—more than five workers died every week, simply as a result of going to work. Injured workers, however, have legal rights under Florida law. The experienced Florida personal injury attorneys at the Dolman Law Group fight hard for the compensation to which injured workers are legally entitled.
Common workplace accidents reported to the BLS include:
Transportation accidents: Any job that requires a worker to spend time on the road exposes that worker to the risk of auto accident injuries, and Florida’s roads are deadlier than most. BLS research found that more than 25 percent of all workplace fatalities in America in 2015 occurred in the trucking industry, but classified nearly half of the 2015 Florida workplace fatalities as transportation incidents. Transportation accidents can cause many different types of injuries, depending on the severity of the collisions. Whiplash commonly results from any type of collision. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that the majority of whiplash patients suffer from mild muscle strains in the cervical spine area, and they recover within three weeks without medical care. The condition, however, may still seriously derail a patient’s life. These incredibly painful injuries—which can also strike the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine—might require surgical repairs, immobilization, or painful rehabilitation through physical therapy or chiropractic services. Such treatments can cost patients money and time—the ACA reports that whiplash costs the U.S. economy about $2.7 billion.
Slips, trips, and falls: Slip and fall injuries can take place in the workplace just as they occur at home or in public. Certain work environments can increase the risk of workers sustaining slips, trips, or falls. For example, a worker who is constantly surrounded by wet floors could slip more easily than one who is not. A construction worker who frequently works on high projects may face a greater likelihood of sustaining injuries from a fall. The produce section of many grocery stores is the site of squishy fruit and vegetables that can cause customers to slip, trip, or fall. Employees who work in the produce section also risk slipping on crushed produce.
Violence and other injuries caused by people or animals: Workplace violence is a real problem for Florida workers. Some jobs can present higher risks of workplace violence than others: Healthcare workers, for example, are subjected to physical danger in the workplace on many occasions. Philly.com reports on a Massachusetts emergency department nurse who was repeatedly stabbed by an unhappy patient. It also reports that a patient who was also a prison inmate took two nurses in Geneva, Illinois, hostage, beating and sexually assaulting one of them at gunpoint. CNN also reports on a series of troubling violent incidents in hospitals, including a gunman who shot and critically injured a Baltimore doctor; a man in Valley Stream, New York, who broke a chair and used the legs to beat a nurse; a gunman who opened fire in a Laurinburg, North Carolina, hospital after a bar fight; and a man who was dissatisfied with his mother’s care and killed two hospital employees in a Columbus, Georgia, hospital. CNN interviewed one emergency nurse who reported that a patient scratched, bit, and spat upon her, and struck her hard enough to break her jaw. That assailant later apologized, saying that he was “tired of waiting.”
Contact with objects and equipment: Heavy equipment and machinery pose unique risks to workers. Much of this equipment comes with posted warnings, and many employers send workers through specialized training before they may use heavy equipment. While these measures can help reduce the risk of injuries, objects and equipment still cause many workplace accidents. In fact, the BLS identified contact with objects and equipment as the fourth most common cause of fatal workplace accidents in Florida in 2015.
Exposure to harmful substances or environments: Nearly every workplace contains harmful substances. Even simple cleaning products can cause injuries to workers when spilled or used improperly. The risk of exposure to toxins can increase with greater amounts of harmful substances in the workplace or the presence of highly dangerous substances. Chemical manufacturers in particular have high risks of accidentally exposing workers to harmful substances.
The Legal Rights of Injured Workers
Injured workers have the legal right to compensation for their financial losses, and can explore many different sources of compensation. Workers’ compensation coverage is generally available to employees injured in the scopes of their jobs. An employer may also carry liability coverage for injuries that occur due to the condition of the premises. This is especially common for retail stores and other establishments that invite customers. Liability coverage can, in certain cases, compensate injured workers as well. Finally, Social Security Disability Income may cover permanently injured workers. Both the worker and the injury, however, must meet a series of strict eligibility requirements.
The Right Attorneys for Your Workplace Injury Claim
Victims of workplace injuries have legal rights under Florida law, and the workers’ compensation attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience protecting these rights. Learn why injury victims in and around St. Petersburg trust our personal injury attorneys to protect their legal interests. Call (727) 222-6922 or write us online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced, aggressive personal injury attorney today. Our highly experienced attorneys will fight hard to give you the strongest, most effective case possible.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712