Articles Posted in Construction accidents

The improving economy is briging a strong tailwind to Southwest Florida’s booming construction industry.

As our Founder Bruce L. Scheiner celebrates his 50th year fighting for the rights of the injured in Southwest Florida, we have written about the area’s long history of explosive growth. Since 1971, Lee County has grown from fewer than 100,000 residents, to about 800,000.scaffolding

But, if anything, growth has seemed to accelerate since coming out of the Great Recession a decade ago. And, while the COVID pandemic stalled growth temporarily, all signs point toward continued growth and expansion.

Continue reading ›

The defining symbol of the $2 trillion infrastructure package proposed by President Joe Biden might be a traffic cone.

One thing is certain as we emerge from the pandemic, travel and road construction are certain to mix like oil and water for the foreseeable future.

Southwest Florida has seen explosive growth for decades. As our founder Bruce L. Scheiner celebrates his 50th year of fighting for the rights of injury victims, we have noted many of the growth milestones that have occurred locally during that half century, from the construction of I-75 and Southwest Florida International Airport to the establishment of several of the area’s universities. A population of just over 100,000 in the 1970s, has grown to nearly 800,000 residents.

But as we emerge from the pandemic, there is every sign that the growth is accelerating. The USA Today reports the plan includes $300 billion for roads, bridges, highways and electric vehicle infrastructure.roadconstruction-300x225

While we have long grown accustomed to summer road construction, and infrastructure projects being completed between tourist seasons, the massive $2 trillion in spending Biden is proposing, combined with the $1,9 trillion economic relief package that included billions for schools and local government projects, we are likely to see a construction boom the likes of which not even Southwest Florida has witnessed.

Continue reading ›

A look at the traffic on the roads of Southwest Florida during the “Safer-at-Home” order makes it clear that few non-medical occupations have been deemed more “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic than the construction industry.

Sometimes it seems the building will never stop. Certainly, we have proof now that a pandemic won’t stop it. In the last month, everything from new-home communities to major road projects have continued with construction, virtually around the clock, even as most non-essential workers have been strongly encouraged to stay home.cementtruck-300x187

To be sure, construction is a primary driver of Southwest Florida’s economy. This has been true for decades. When Bruce L. Scheiner built his law firm’s headquarters near Page Field in 1971, it was located at the edge of town! Even today, the quieting wrought by the flu pandemic has brought to a standstill nearly everything but construction.

It sometimes seems as though snowbirds are replaced by orange road construction barrels as summer begins in Southwest Florida.

Florida Department of Transportation is preparing to begin significant improvements to Interstate 75 at Corkscrew Road, according to the Naples Daily News.

Meanwhile, Lee County Department of Transportation is widening Burnt Store Road from Diplomat Parkway to Tropicana Parkway in Cape Coral and the City of Fort Myers is working on a beautification project along U.S. 41 between Colonial Boulevard and downtown.roadconstruction-300x225

Our car accident lawyers in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know each of these projects increases the risks to motorists and pedestrians.

Continue reading ›

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is reminding motorists to use extra caution in construction zones as the summer road construction season gets underway.roadconstruction-300x225

The week of April 8th is National Work Zone Awareness Week, as safety advocates work to raise awareness about the increased risks of driving through construction zones in Southwest Florida. The awareness campaign has been conducted at the start of road construction season each year since 2000. More than 100 construction workers are killed each year in road construction transportation accidents, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Risks of road construction zones include changing traffic patterns, narrowed rights-of-way, uneven roadways, lack of breakdown lanes, and other hazards that increase the risk of motor-vehicle collisions. Federal statistics show drivers and passengers are most likely to be seriously injured or killed in road construction zones. Each year more than 600 motorists and passengers are killed, as well as more than 100 bicyclists and pedestrians. About 200 fatal work zone collisions each year involve a large commercial truck or bus.

The widow of a worker killed after being struck by a truck while in a construction zone will receive a $6 million settlement from the defendant companies involved. construction accident attorney

Attorneys for the estate of deceased worker had alleged the construction companies on site were negligent in failing to erect the required drums or traffic barriers that would have protected the workers. The 38-year-old worker from Wisconsin was completing some electrical work just a few feet from an intersection when a semitractor-trailer tried to make a sharp right turn. The worker’s back was to the intersection at the time he was struck, and he had no time to react or jump out of the way. The widow’s wrongful death attorney alleged the construction companies put this worker out into the field with no protection.

Wrongful death claims were filed against the trucking company, the trucking company’s driver, the general contractor for the construction site and the subcontractor. A worker on site testified the majority of trucks that turned that same corner jumped the curb. Photos of the site proved this, revealing tire track marks well worn over the curb. Despite this, the construction company did not put up the necessary barriers.  Continue reading ›

Nationally, workplaces are getting safer. The chances of dying on-the-job have decreased across the board. construction

But in Florida, there is actually a different trend being realized. According to The Orlando Sentinel, workplaces in the Sunshine state are becoming less safe.

In the most recent year-long reporting period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the rate of Florida’s workplace fatalities climbed from a rate of 2.7 for every 1,000 full-time workers to 3.1 for every 1,000 workers. Meanwhile, the national fatality rate nationwide dropped, from 3.43 to 3.38.  Continue reading ›

Last year, the Florida Supreme Court took on two major issues pertaining to the state’s workers’ compensation program, in both cases handing a victory to injured workers. However, now business industry lobbyists are pushing for workers’ compensation reforms that will undercut those victories. worker

As Capitol News Service reports, the Florida Chamber of Commerce President was quoted as saying there is a big price tag on the horizon if workers’ compensation law in Florida isn’t “fixed.” He added that based on the Florida Supreme Court’s decisions in favor of workers, “There’s a one and a half billion dollar tax increase on jobs in Florida.” This, he said, is going to cut into the creation of new jobs.

But what this overlooks is the fact that the previous system was inherently unfair to workers – and the attorneys who took up their cases. Specifically, the chamber president is referring to the case of Castellanos v. Next Door Company, which was decided last April. That case involved the constitutionality of the mandatory fee schedule for plaintiff attorneys in workers’ compensation cases, set forth in F.S. 440.34. The court ruled that the mandatory fee schedule creates a presumption that can’t be rebutted as to whether an attorney’s compensation is in fact reasonable, which in turn violates both the state and federal Constitutions as a violation of due process.  Continue reading ›

In most work injury cases, including those stemming from Florida construction accidents, workers can expect to have a single remedy against their employer: Workers’ compensation. The workers’ compensation law is a trade-off of sorts. Employers agree to a system of no-fault benefits for workers injured in the course and scope of employment, and employees agree to forfeit their right to sue the company. fireextinguisher

However, while this provision generally also protects co-workers, it typically does not pertain to third-parties, such as product manufacturers, rogue drivers or, in some cases, other contractors on the same job site. The question recently considered in a work injury lawsuit by the Mississippi Supreme Court was whether a worker who obtained workers’ compensation benefits from a company was entitled to also sue that company, on the grounds the company wasn’t his statutory employer.

So why would a company that wasn’t his statutory employer pay benefits in the first place? According to court records, it had to do with an agreement between the defendant property owner and a contractor, which provided maintenance services. The terms of the contract were separate from state law, which did not mandate that the property owner pay workers’ compensation insurance. The fact that the property owner chose to do so as part of the contract did not mean it assumed the position of statutory employer, at least that’s what the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled when it decided plaintiff could proceed with his personal injury lawsuit against defendant, even though defendant/ defendant’s insurer had paid workers’ compensation benefits.  Continue reading ›

Usually when we hear about construction worker injury in Fort Myers, it’s because of some awful, dramatic accident, such as a roadside collision, major fall or electrocution. However, a new study conducted by The Center for Construction Research and Training indicated that the more pervasive problem for most construction workers is the risk of work-related injury to the joints, nerves, tendons and muscles. constructionsite

Sprain and strains are a constant source of workers’ compensation claims for construction workers, with study authors opining the estimated loss of wages for private industry construction workers in 2014 was about $46 million. The injuries are caused by a number of elements construction workers face on a regular basis, including:

  • Excessive exposure to vibration
  • Bending
  • Twisting
  • Awkward work postures
  • Overwork
  • Static posture
  • Poorly-designed tools
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Poor work organization (i.e., not enough rest breaks, poor supervision, not enough workers, etc.)
  • Repetition

Continue reading ›

Contact Information