As a North Miami car accident lawyer that sues for construction site accidents, a case that I have recently filed in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida is just another example of the dangers of working construction. For purposes of anonymity, I will refer to my client as John Smith.
Mr. Smith was a construction worker employed as an asphalt laborer to perform paving work for the construction of Biscayne Boulevard just north of the American Airlines Arena. Note: I say “was” because due to the significant injury from the car accident, as his lawyer, I do not know at this point whether John will ever be able to work construction again.
Mr. Smith had reported to work at the construction site for an overnight shift. Naturally, the risks of being involved in a car or truck accident rise significantly at night — that is precisely why the presence of construction flaggers are of utmost importance to preserve the safety of all people working at the site. Given the huge responsibility of directing traffic, flaggers are often required to undergo additional training and have more experience than your average construction worker, such as John Smith.
However, Mr. Smith’s supervisor required him to direct traffic that night, which happened to be a Friday night in downtown Miami — needless to say one of the busiest nights of the week. Mr. Smith, fearful of losing his job if he told his boss that he was not properly trained and could not to perform this task, simply did what he was told and proceeded to direct traffic without any training or experience.
This is a construction zone that has the presence of trucks and cars traveling through the area constantly — always with a risk of causing an accident involving a construction worker, including John Smith. As expected, shortly after Mr. Smith began directing traffic, he was hit and nearly killed by a car traveling through the construction site. Fire Rescue and police responded to the scene and John was taken by ambulance to the Hospital. The injuries that construction worker, John Smith, suffered from this car accident ultimately required two surgeries and extensive rehabilitation — the only way to get compensated for his loss was to hire a lawyer and recover money damages for his pain and suffering.
A major issue in this case is whether my client, John Smith, received adequate training in order to be qualified to direct traffic. In fact, Florida has its own training and certification requirements for construction companies to follow when it comes to flaggers. The Florida Department of Transportation (“FDOT”) sets forth Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction. Contained within those standards is a section dedicated to flaggers. According to section 105-8.4 of the FDOT’s Standard Specifications, construction companies are required to provide trained flaggers to direct traffic. In other words, it is illegal to have untrained, unqualified construction workers, such as John Smith, direct traffic and work as a flagger.
When you have untrained construction workers directing traffic, car accidents or truck accidents are inevitable to occur at the construction site, which almost always cause serious traumatic injury. Being a North Miami lawyer who sues for car accidents or truck accidents in construction areas, I find on many occasions that the contractor has failed to abide by the standards set forth by the Department of Transportation. When these failures occur, the person who pays the price is the construction worker that is placed in harms way and vulnerable to car accidents, or worse, truck accidents.
The one golden piece of information that I would like all construction workers to take from this article is that no matter the cost, never place yourself in a situation where you are performing work without the proper training. Unfortunately, my client, John Smith, succumbed to the pressure of his employer to perform dangerous flagger work, which led to his injury from a car accident while at work.
If you or someone you know was injured from a car accident or truck accident in a construction area, please contact us today.
By: Brandon Stein