When a building of any size is scheduled to be torn down, workers go about the process in a specific way. There are a number of health and safety risks associated with demolishing a building, particularly a multi-story apartment building. By adhering to a specific demolition process, the demolition company mitigates the amount of risk workers and pedestrians are exposed to. However, something went wrong in the process of tearing down the former Marlborough House, a condo building in Miami Beach. On Monday, July 23, the building near 57th Street and Collins Avenue collapsed within seconds. Debris was scattered for blocks, shutting down the road in front of the building, and striking Samuel Landis, 46, a project manager for the demolition company. Landis was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and was in critical condition.
It is unknown exactly what went wrong. Winmar Construction, Inc. stated the collapse was a construction accident that took place during a planned and permitted demolition, which was being conducted by subcontractor AlliedBean Demolition. The incident will be investigated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Miami Beach Police Department.This is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers of demolition and construction. Any amount of carelessness can lead to significant accidents, injuries, and fatalities. If you or a loved one are injured in a construction accident in South Florida, contact our personal injury law offices to discuss your case with a construction accident lawyer at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. at (877) 475-2905.
Construction Accidents in the U.S.
Construction accidents occur in the U.S. far more often than they should. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry witnessed 991 fatalities in 2016. There were 182 fatalities within the construction of buildings industry, 159 fatalities within heavy and civil engineering construction, and 631 fatalities for specialty trade contractors. In Florida, the greatest percentage of occupational fatalities occurred in the private construction industry, according to the BLS. In 2016, Florida had 76 construction worker deaths, which was an increase from 66 fatalities in 2015. Specialty trade contractors accounted for 61 of those deaths.
Struck-by Accidents One of “Fatal Four”
OSHA often cites the “Fatal Four” in regard to construction accidents and fatalities. Every year, hundreds of construction workers are killed and many more are injured during on-the-job accidents. These “Fatal Four” are the four top causes of construction worker deaths and include:
- Struck by Object
- Caught-in/Between (vehicles, machinery, equipment, structure, materials, and other objects)
In 2016, there were 991 construction worker deaths. Of these, 93 workers died by being struck by an object. This amounted to 9.4 percent, which may not seem like much, but is a significant percentage. The only more common cause of construction worker death is falling, at 38.7 percent.
Seeking Compensation After a Construction Accident
If you or a loved one were injured while working on a construction site, then it is important to make a workers’ compensation claim right away. An experienced lawyer can help you and advise you during this process. Through workers’ compensation insurance, your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will cover your medical expenses related to the workplace injury. Workers’ comp will also replace a portion of your lost wages while you recover.
However, if you are not provided workers’ compensation like you should be or someone from outside your employer caused the accident, then you should contact our Miami construction accident lawyers at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. immediately. You may have the right to pursue compensation from the responsible third party. That third-party may be another business working at the same site or a pedestrian who interfered with your work. That party could also be your employer, if they unlawfully failed to provide you with workers’ comp insurance.
Through a third-party claim, you may pursue compensation for your:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Reduced earning capacity
- Reduced quality of life
If your loved one was killed in a construction accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Let a Miami Construction Accident Attorney Help You
After being hurt or losing a loved one in a construction accident, you should speak with a personal injury and wrongful death law firm. Our experienced and compassionate team at Gerson & Schwartz P.A. will review your situation and advise you of your rights. If you have the right to pursue compensation in court through a personal injury or wrongful death claim, we will represent you and seek a fair amount of compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
Contact our Miami-Dade County office at (305) 371-6000 or our Broward County office at (954) 845-0535.