Construction cranes of high-rise residential buildings in the big city, view of the evening sky

Crane Accidents and Construction Injuries

Crane Accidents and Construction Injuries 1 Hurricane Property Damage South Florida Injury Law Firm


Imagine sleeping soundly in bed and then a loud crashing crane comes through your roof.
It was a scene that happened this week in North Miami Beach, where a crane that was being used to repair a seawall slid off a barge and struck the roof of a condominium building.

“I was very lucky because that crane was in front of my apartment two days ago.” said by C. Spetsiotas, a resident of the condo.


Eight units of the building are now off-limits while structural engineers assess the safety of the building. The U.S. Coast Guard is also investigating, along with OSHA

Crane accidents have happened in the past, with unfortunately worse outcomes. In Hallandale Beach, a 27 year old was killed when a crane toppled over.  One man died and two others were left injured in Hollywood when the scaffolding collapsed.


Causes of Construction Accidents


Florida construction sites are littered with hazards at every turn. To execute dangerous tasks that these projects require, heavy construction equipment and tools are used, many of which are performed at great heights and under extremely hazardous conditions.

Although federal and state laws that require employers to maintain a safe workplace, some do not. There are instances where contractors take shortcuts to turnaround projects faster and reduce expenses, posing a risk to people who work on the sites and the local pedestrians.


Some common causes of construction accidents include:


  • Cranes, ladders and fixtures falling from buildings and walls
  • Toxic substance exposure
  • Defective construction and tool equipment
  • Improper use of equipment
  • Improper or insufficient training
  • Misuse of tools and other equipment
  • Poor safety precautions and oversight



Construction Site Safety and Your Rights

Crane Accidents and Construction Injuries 3 Hurricane Property Damage South Florida Injury Law Firm

Safety measures on construction sites are supposed to be followed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.  There are clear standards for cranes, crane operations, crane training, fall protection, scaffolding, ladders, hazard communication, machinery, and many other aspects of a construction site project and operations. A party’s failure to abide by OSHA standards may be evidence of negligence if that failure caused an accident.

If you or someone you know have suffered any construction related injuries, or others that are not listed, compensation may be awarded and should contact our experienced Florida construction accident lawyers at South Florida Injury Law Firm today to discuss your legal options with our Free Case Review

Also, you may be entitled to recover more money than a workers’ compensation claim alone could provide. You may also have claims for medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent limitations and past and future lost earnings.

Because of the numerous contractors, subcontractors and other parties often involved in construction sites, it can be difficult to determine exactly who should be held responsible for your injuries or the death of a loved one.




Types of Available Compensation


Workers’ Compensation
Almost every employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits can help an injured worker cover medical expenses and lost wages and are available to a worker regardless of the circumstances surrounding an accident that causes injury.


Personal Injury
Although a worker cannot file an injury lawsuit against their employer, it may be possible to file a claim against a third party whose negligent actions led to your injury. A personal injury claim is also available to non-workers who are injured on a construction site.


Product Liability
If a defective product caused your injuries, it may be possible to bring a claim against the manufacturer, retailer or wholesaler of that product.


Wrongful Death
If you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for your loss.



Construction Related Accident and Injury Help


With decades of experience handling these types of complex cases, our South Florida Injury Law Firm construction accident lawyers have the skills and the resources needed to conduct a thorough investigation. You can rely on us to put your interests first and will work to help you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled.


Schedule a free consultation by calling (954) 488-JEFF (Fort Lauderdale), (954) 488-JEFF (Boca Raton & West Palm Beach), or 877-566-8759 (toll-free). You can also fill out this online form to set up your case evaluation. We’re a dedicated team of personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency basis and will take your calls at any time, on any day of the week.

How to File an Insurance Claim for Irma Damage and Get Paid

How to File an Insurance Claim for Irma Damage and Get Paid 4 Hurricane Property Damage South Florida Injury Law FirmWhat Types of Damages Did Irma Leave You With

Hurricane Irma left a multi-billion-dollar trail of destruction in her wake, leaving many Florida property owners homeless or with significant damages to repair.


Numerous Floridians have already filed insurance claims. As of November 13th 2017, 830,788 claims have been filed for Hurricane Irma damages, the vast majority of which are for residential properties. Of these claims, 317,389 (38%) have been paid and are now closed. An additional 216,318 (26%) have been denied, while 297,081 (36%) remain open. It’s estimated that Irma has caused over $5.8 billion in insured losses.


What if you haven’t gotten around to filing for Hurricane Irma damages yet? It’s understandable. You’ve probably had a lot to deal with. Many policyholders put off filing a claim in the chaos following a natural disaster, or aren’t sure whether their damages are covered. Moreover, insurance companies are often a hassle to deal with, leading many policyholders to simply give up and pay for damages out-of-pocket


Don’t make that mistake, though. Filing a claim in good faith can never be held against you, so we advise filing a claim for any damages or losses suffered. Thankfully, there’s still time.


The below guide is designed assist you in filing a successful insurance claim and making the process just a bit less hectic.


How to Successfully File an Insurance Claim


These simple tips can make filing a claim less of a hassle, and also increase your chance of being approved.


Contact the Company as Soon as Possible


Claims are generally processed in the order that they are received, so it is important to contact the insurance company as quickly as possible. Prior to doing so, prepare an accurate and thorough description of all losses and damages.


Be sure to write down your insurance claim number and take careful notes. Ask when you can expect to be contacted by an insurance adjuster.


Keep a Claim Diary


Throughout your claim process, write down the names and contact information of everyone you talk to from your insurance company. Also note the date, time, and issues discussed.


Document Losses and Damages with Pictures and Videos


Provide documentation of your losses and damages in the form of pictures and videos. Also keep a list of all damaged or lost personal items, including the date of purchase and approximate value.


Keep Records of Expenditures for Immediate Repairs


Keep receipts for immediate repairs (e.g. tarps) needed to secure your home. Also keep records of hotel and meal expenditures in the event that you cannot return home due to the extent of the damages.


Check with Your Insurance Company Before Discarding Damaged Items


In general, all damaged items should be kept until the insurance adjuster is able to visit and confirm damages. However, if your municipality requires that debris be discarded, check first with your insurance company, and take pictures of damaged items before discarding them.


Verify the Adjuster’s Identity


Unfortunately, disaster fraud is common after major storms such as Irma. When your insurance adjuster comes to assess the damages, ask them to provide identification to verify that they are there on behalf of the insurance company. Beware of strangers coming to your property claiming to be insurance adjusters or contractors.


Also ask if the adjuster is an employee of the insurance company or an independent adjuster. If independent, ask if they are authorized to make claims and payments on behalf of your insurance company, and ask for the name and contact information of the in-house insurance company adjuster to whom the independent adjuster will be sending your information.


If your Claim Is Delayed or Denied


How to File an Insurance Claim for Irma Damage and Get Paid 5 Hurricane Property Damage South Florida Injury Law FirmHurricane Insurance Claims South Florida

Keep in mind that an insurance company’s primary objective is to turn a profit, which isn’t necessarily in the best interest of its policyholders. There are a number of bad faith practices insurance companies use to deny or reduce claims.


If you feel that your insurance company is treating you unfairly or not acting in good faith, contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to register a complaint, then reach out to an experienced Florida injury attorney. They will know what steps need to be taken to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.



About the Author:


Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for the South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.


What Types of Damages Did Irma Leave You With

What Types of Damages Did Irma Leave You With?

What Types of Damages Did Irma Leave You With

Now that Hurricane Irma has passed over Florida, residents are left with picking up the piece and getting to the hard task of recovery. For some, that may be limited to surviving until the power returns. For others, it could involve trying to fix or replace things that were lost or harmed in the storm.


Which begs the question: what kind of property damage have you sustained? What are the most common types of damage that you should watch out for? How do you deal with insurers who are giving you difficulties? Learning this information is the first step to getting you the help you need.


Irma by the Numbers (and the Weather Issues It Caused)


When Hurricane Irma made its impact on the Florida keys, it was classified as a Category 4 storm system. To reach the Category 4 threshold, a storm must have wind speeds between 131 and 155 mph with potential storm surges up to 18 feet.


But a hurricane is rarely just a hurricane, and Irma may have caused these other weather issues in your area as well:


Storm surge and storm tide. The storm surge is when water rises abnormally due to high winds. Storm tide results from both the storm surge and the abnormally high tide. If you live along the coastline, you may have been affected by the storm surge or tides.

Flooding. If your area experienced rainfall of over six inches in a short period, you likely experienced flooding that may have affected your property.


High winds. The sustained high winds and strong gusts may have caused significant property damage to your home.


Cyclones or tornadoes. If one of these hurricane spinoffs affected your property, you likely experienced a huge amount of damage.


Specific Types of Hurricane Damage to Look For


In a storm of this magnitude, your home may have experienced several common types of damage – some that you may not even notice right away. Before submitting a claim, make sure you’ve conducted a thorough inspection (within the limits of safety, of course).


Hurricane Property Damage Insurance Claims Lawyer

Roof damage. Even the strongest roofing systems cannot hold fast in 130-155 mph winds. Trees and flying debris may also cause roof damage. Your gutters may have been damaged due to wind or flying debris as well.


Insurance companies will consider claims based on the roof’s age, whether repairs were needed, whether any previous damage occurred, and what type of coverage was purchased. If your roof was new and in good condition, your policy may grant a full replacement, or at least restore it to the condition prior to the hurricane’s arrival.


Exterior damage. Your siding, windows, doors and landscaping may have been damaged by flying debris or by the storm surge, which likely caused further damage to your interior.


Interior damage. If your roof was damaged or if your windows or doors were broken or damaged, the rain and wind may have wreaked havoc in your home’s interior. You may have experienced damage to your floors, walls, furniture, and belongings.


Also, don’t forget that mold growth and sewage backup are serious threats after a hurricane. Both mold and sewage can present serious health concerns to you and your family, and they must be remedied as soon as possible. Check your insurance policy to see what coverage you have for mold or sewage damage.


Equipment damage. Your electrical system, heating and air conditioning system, and appliances may have been damaged in the storm. You may have experienced damage to your computers and telephone system as well. Both power surges and flooding can damage your equipment. Outside, your HVAC unit may have been struck by flying debris or flooded with water.


Loss of public utilities. You may have experienced an extended loss of power due to the hurricane. This can affect losses in your home, especially if your refrigerator or freezer begins leaking and causes more structural damage due to power loss. Consult with your insurance agent to understand what is covered by your policy.


Automobile or boat damage Insurance Claims

Automobile or boat damage. Your automobile or boat may have been scratched or dented by flying debris, or your windows may have been broken. Make sure to call your insurance agent immediately if your automobile or boat sustained hurricane damage.


What to Do to Take Care of Your Damages?


Take these steps to get everything owed to you under your insurance policy:


Remedy damages you find once you return to your property. Place tarps on damaged roofs. Board up broken windows. Turn off your water supply if pipes have burst. Don’t let further damage occur.


Have paperwork ready to go. The insurance adjuster needs all relevant information when they arrive.


Provide accurate figures. It’s important to list correct repair costs and property values. You also need an accurate inventory of personal property.


Don’t throw away damaged items too soon. Leave the damages there until the insurance adjuster can make note of them.


Know your policy. It’s important to know what coverage you paid for in your policy.


You have the option to hire legal counsel if your claim is denied by your insurance company. An attorney experienced in bad faith insurance claim cases can help you get the money that is owed to you under your paid policy. Call for a free consultation today to understand your rights.


About the Author:

Jeffrey Braxton is a trial lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who has devoted his career to the practice of personal injury law. As lead trial attorney for The South Florida Injury Law Firm, Jeff has litigated thousands of cases and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an exclusive group of attorneys who have resolved cases in excess of one million dollars.