Welding Accident Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale

Both professional and at-home welders use their skills to transform pieces of metal into various products and shapes. The welding process requires excessive heat and heavy equipment, which can cause injuries. These injuries can occur through equipment misuse, defective or dangerous products, or a lack of safety equipment. If you have been injured in a welding accident, call a Fort Lauderdale welding accident lawyer today.

Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. understands the complex legal issues that arise in welding accident cases and can help you recover damages for your injuries. Schedule a consultation today: 954-524-2820.

Welding Injuries

Professional and at-home welders face numerous hazards while working on projects. The excessive heat, radiation, and use of metal can cause serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries that occur while welding include:

  • Burns and other skin injuries: Heated metal can splatter causing second- and three-degree burns. Sparks from the welding equipment can also land on skin or clothing, starting fires. UV radiation can burn the skin directly or indirectly when reflected off a surface.
  • Eye damage: Eye injuries (e.g., welder’s flash) are some of the most common injuries for welders. The bright lights and exposure the UV radiation make it more likely for welders to suffer retina damage. Welders also may suffer damage if flying particles hit them in the eye.
  • Fume-related respiratory injuries: Welders often inhale welding fumes made up of particles of metal and other materials. Over time, inhaling metal pieces can cause damage to the brain, bones, lungs, and kidneys. The fumes may also cause cancer and other disorders.
  • Manganism: Manganism, often referred to as welder’s Parkinson’s disease, occurs after welders inhale manganese particles that cause toxicity in the nervous system.

Are there are any safety regulations for welders?

Welding can be very dangerous without the right training and equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict guidelines in place to ensure that welders stay safe while on-the-job. Some of these regulations discuss:

  • Wearing the appropriate protective eye gear and helmets
  • Wearing protective clothing to prevent burns and exposure to radiation
  • Adequate workspace ventilation to prevent welder’s exposure to harmful gases
  • Using appropriate, well-maintained equipment

Recovering Damages After a Welding Accident

Many people who have been involved in welding accidents find themselves unable to work and pay their medical bills. However, there are a couple of ways to recover damages to relieve your financial burden.

Workers’ Compensation

For those injured while welding at work, there is workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation provides injured employees with benefits to cover their medical care and lost wages for the time they were unable to work due to injury. While these benefits can be helpful, they do not cover pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages.

Also, receiving workers’ compensation prohibits a worker from filing suit against his employer for additional damages.

Third-Party Claims

However, professional welders and those welding at-home can file a claim against any third parties they feel are liable for their injuries. These third parties may include manufacturers of the equipment used (e.g., goggles, helmets, machinery) and contractors misusing the equipment.

The party you file against will determine what you need to establish.

If you are filing a negligence claim against a careless contractor, you need to establish the following:

  • Duty: To prove this element, you must establish that the defendant was responsible for your safety in some way. For example, contractors on site have a duty to operate equipment in a safe manner.
  • Breach of Duty: You must show that the defendant breached his/her duty by engaging in negligent behavior, e.g., the contractor left the welding equipment on, burning you as walked by.
  • Causation: You must prove that the accident would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligence; you must also prove the harm that occurred was foreseeable, e.g., the contractor could have expected that leaving welding equipment on would burn someone.
  • Damages: You must prove you suffered a tangible injury. This may require presentation of medical records, witness testimony, and expert testimony.

For cases against manufacturers, you do not need to prove negligence. You must, instead, prove:

  • The manufacturer produced the equipment
  • It was defective or dangerous in some way (You do not need to prove that the manufacturer knew it was defective.)
  • You were using it as directed (If you were using the equipment in a way the manufacturer would not have foreseen, you might not have a case.)
  • You did not alter the equipment in some way.
  • You suffered injuries

What damages can I recover after a welding accident?

If you can prove that a third party’s negligence caused your injuries, you can recover damages to help pay for those injuries. Some of the damages you can recover include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Disability

IMPORTANT: The statute of limitations in Florida requires plaintiffs to file personal injury suits within four years of the date of injury.

Where can I get help with my claim?

Those recovering from welding accident injuries have a long road ahead of them. The medical treatments, physical therapy, and physical and emotional pain can be overwhelming. The family of the victim may be worried about their loved one and unsure how to pay the bills with the victim unable to work.

In addition to the physical and financial difficulties, victims may be emotionally scarred from the incident. They may be struggling with depression and be too anxious to go back to welding.

The attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. are here to help. With years of experience handling complex construction accident cases, we will help you recover damages from the people responsible for your injuries. Having a trustworthy attorney on your side can give you the opportunity to focus solely on your recovery.

To discuss the specifics of your welding accident, call 954-524-2820.