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Florida Construction Site Injuries: Spotting Liability Issues

Daily Business Review

In an article published in the Daily Business Review, Partners Aaron Cohn and Steven Gonzalez discuss key issues in litigating lawsuits involving an injury on active construction sites in Florida.

While litigating construction defect claims to determine liability is a challenging task, construction site accidents further complicate the process by layering personal injury damage considerations. “Given that construction attorneys and personal injury attorneys typically occupy separate legal spheres, it can be easy to miss some of the key issues if the practicing attorney handling a construction site injury is crossing over into the ‘other’ sphere,” the authors write.

Determining responsibility is often the first challenge that arises in construction site injury cases. “Typically, there are any number of subcontractors performing work in a given area. But, often times, there are unidentified sub-subcontractors, material suppliers, rental equipment vendors, the developer’s separate contractors and other possible third parties,” Cohn and Gonzalez explain. “Determining who may be at fault early in the process, and what insurance they may have to contribute, is a key step to litigating these types of claims.”

The authors further explain provisions that apply in these cases, including workers’ compensation immunity and qualified immunity. “Under Florida law, workers’ compensation provides the exclusive remedy against employers that provide workers’ compensation for employees injured on the job. Because workers’ compensation laws provide immunity to employers that provide workers’ compensation insurance, and the immunity broadly covers the general contractor and other subcontractors on the same project, it is often only the most significant injuries that are pursued. On projects involving public entities, qualified immunity may limit potential claims or liability.”

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