If you are injured in a heavy machinery accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the party responsible for the accident, your injuries as well as additional damages.
Don’t wait, call a heavy machinery accident and injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine in West Palm Beach, FL, today at 1-800-747-3733. Our legal team offers free case reviews to answer your questions, and address your concerns.
When an Employee Sustains Injuries in a Heavy Machinery Accident
Construction employees work around a lot of heavy and dangerous machines including bulldozers, excavators, graders, forklifts, and cranes. The law affords you a way to receive compensation for injuries from an accident involving one of these machines.
You May File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Florida law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. If you are injured on a construction site, for example, while you are operating an excavator and the machine rolls over, you can file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer.
A workers’ compensation claim is different from other personal injury claims. You do not have to show that your employer was negligent. You need to show that you were performing your job when the accident happened. The employer cannot assert negligence on your part to reduce your benefits.
A workers’ compensation claim is also different from a personal injury claim because the law spells out what you may recover from your employer:
Temporary Disability Benefits
You receive temporary disability benefits for up to 104 weeks. You receive two-thirds of your weekly wage up to a maximum, which is $917 for accidents that occurred in 2018. You receive 80 percent of your wages for the first six months if your injuries are severe, such as paralysis. If you can return to work, but you do not earn 80 percent of your wages, you get 80 percent of the difference between 80 percent of your wages and what you are making after the injury.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
After you reach your maximum recovery, if you are totally and permanently disabled, you can receive weekly benefits for life.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If you have a permanent impairment, a doctor will assign you an impairment rating, for example, 10 percent. You receive 75 percent of your temporary disability rate. How long you receive the benefits depends upon your impairment rating:
- Two weeks for each percentage point, impairment rating 1 to 10 percent
- Three weeks for each percentage point, impairment rating 11 to 15 percent
- Four weeks for each percentage point, impairment rating 16 to 20 percent
- Six weeks for each percentage point, impairment rating 21 percent or greater
The costs of medical treatment related to your injury and traveling to and from doctors’ appointments are reimbursable. If the accident results in death, your spouse or children receive death benefits and up to $7,500 in funeral and burial expenses.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyer in West Palm Beach, can help you navigate your worker’s compensation or personal injury claim.
When A Non-Employee Sustains injuries in a Heavy Machinery Accident
You may be a bystander who is injured in a heavy machinery accident. For example, you may be standing near the construction site, sitting inside a nearby building, or driving a vehicle when a crane collapses and lands on you, the building, or your car. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim since you are not an employee, but you do have options:
- A personal injury suit against the crane operator
- A vicarious liability claim against the operator’s employer
- A product liability suit against a manufacturer if the crane was defective
- A personal injury suit against a third party whose negligence caused the accident
Suing a Third Party Responsible for a Heavy Machinery Accident in Florida
If you are injured in an accident involving a heavy machine while you are working, you may be able to file a suit against the machinery manufacturer or a third party.
You may submit a product liability suit against a manufacturer of a defective piece of heavy machinery or a defective part. You do not have to show that the manufacturer was negligent. You must prove the product was defective and that the defect caused your injury.
You may also file a personal injury suit against a third party whose negligence caused your injury. For example, an employee of a subcontractor may have been negligently operating a heavy piece of equipment.
In your third-party suit against the manufacturer or negligent party, you can recover economic damages as well as non-economic damages, such as for your pain and suffering. A schedule does not limit you to your workers’ compensation claim. Your employer can join the suit with you and get back what it paid you in workers’ compensation benefits.
Take Advantage of a Free Case Review in West Palm Beach, Florida
If you are involved in a heavy machinery accident, your injuries could be severe, and your medical expenses could be enormous. Broken bones, disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder and paralysis are just a few of the possibilities. In addition to the medical bills to treat your injuries, you could also incur the costs of rehabilitation and physical therapy.
The responsible party may want to settle your claim. You need to be extremely cautious about what you sign. A lawyer can look out for your best interest and make sure you get the benefits or damages you are entitled. If you have severe injuries from an accident involving a heavy piece of machinery, call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.