Florida Construction Accident Investigated

A construction accident in South Florida resulted in two worker injuries at a parking garage on the Miami-Dade College Campus in Doral recently. construction2

According to NBC Miami, one of the huge concrete plates that interconnect to the main structure crashed down onto the third floor of the parking deck. Although crews are not calling the construction accident at “collapse,” video of the scene shoes the slab clearly cracked and fallen onto the lower level of the garage.

Crews with the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue had to lower the two workers down before transporting them to a hospital. One appears to have suffered a serious leg injury. 

The accident is particularly concerning for the fact that it isn’t the first collapse on that site. Crews started work on the $22.5 million, five-story parking deck back in January 2012. But less than one year into the project, in October of that year, part of the garage completely collapsed. The result of that construction accident was that four workers were killed.

The college ended up reaching a $33.5 million settlement agreement with the contractor and subcontractor. It’s not clear whether the college, contractor or subcontractor paid the families of those killed. They would have been eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits, at the very least.

In construction accident law, determining liability can be complicated for the simple fact that there are so many people on a construction site, and they may bear some varying degree of fault.

Some of those our Fort Lauderdale construction accident lawyers may identify as being at-fault include:

  • Construction site owners. On large construction projects, there is usually a delegation of work and legal responsibility. Whether the owner can be held liable will depend on how much control the owner had over the site.
  • Design professionals. These would include architects and engineers. This would be especially critical in a case like this in which there was some type of alleged structural deficiency. These professionals need to ensure their plans are not defective.
  • General contractors. General contractors (and also subcontractors) are responsible to make sure a construction site is safe. They are also responsible to warn workers of any hazards either on site or inherent in the work performed. They also need to make sure work is being performed correctly and by employees who are reasonably competent.
  • Sub-contractors. Sub-contractors are responsible to make sure their part of the project is being carried out according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations.
  • Manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, machinery and materials that may be defective or unreasonably safe.
  • Unrelated third parties who may be liable. These might include, for example, a drunk driver who crashes into a construction site.

These are all in addition to what the worker and/or surviving family members may collect under workers’ compensation laws. Remember, workers’ compensation benefits are available regardless of who is at-fault in a construction accident. However, they are also the exclusive remedy against one’s employer. That means you cannot sue your employer for a work-related injury or death if you have already collected workers’ compensation.

If you are an independent contractor or your company negligently failed to keep workers’ compensation insurance, then you are free to pursue legal action against the company for which you were working.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:

Construction Accident at Parking Garage at Miami Dade College in Doral,  April 15, 2016, NBC 6 Miami

More Blog Entries:

Roddey v. Wal-Mart Stores – Shoplifter Wrongful Death Case Proceeds, April 12, 2016, Fort Lauderdale Construction Accident Lawyer Blog