Wrongful Death On The Job

Those who work a job in construction simply want to go to work each day and make a decent living for themselves and their families. They expect the job to be physically demanding at times, but they keep going. That is, until something stops them. Of all occupations, construction is the job that is most likely to cause death, and many times fatalities occur that should have been prevented.

Safety Regulations Fall Short

The construction industry and government agencies have several requirements in place that are designed to keep construction workers as safe as possible. Still, one in ten workers are injured on the job, and many are killed. In 2009, construction workers were killed three times more often than workers in other occupations, with over 800 killed on the job, and nearly half of the fatal falls that occurred in private industry were suffered by construction workers.

While losing a loved one in any way is devastating, a construction related fatality can also be financially draining. In 2002, the cost of the average construction fatality was close to $4 million. Of all the ways that workers are fatally injured on the job, falls are the most likely to occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establish regulations that require proper barriers and other safeguards for workers who work in dangerous areas or at high elevations. While OSHA regulates safety standards across many industries, three of the top ten citations in 2012 were related specifically to the construction industry and included violations involving ladders, scaffolding requirements, and overall fall protection.

Who’s Responsible?

If your loved one has been killed in a construction accident, a variety of parties may  share in the responsibility for the accident. There may have been unsafe conditions on the property, lack of supervision by construction managers, poor engineering and overall design, improper training  and even faulty tools. While some dangers are expected, accidents involving death on a construction site should not be accepted as something that “just happens.” It is important to investigate and get to the bottom of what went wrong. A worker’s family needs to take care of medical bills, funeral expenses, and make up for the loss of income that occurs after losing someone who has contributed to the family’s financial support. A wrongful death attorney that specializes in construction accidents can help assure that each case is properly investigated and the appropriate parties are held responsible.

Insurance Issues

In many cases, insurance policies barely make a dent in making up for the real costs of losing a loved one and often insurance companies will make it difficult to pursue a claim involving a construction accident. In fact, because there tend to be multiple contractors working on any one construction site, it is extremely important to be highly detailed when pursuing these types of claims as multiple parties and insurance companies may have some responsibility to provide compensation, but they will often engage in “finger pointing” as part of their defense to one of these incidents. Likewise, there are typically multiple contracts and insurance policies that must be reviewed o assure that all potentially responsible contractors and insurance companies are brought into a case. A good wrongful death attorney will be on your side and can help you take care of many of the obstacles that might stand in your way when you are are faced with having to pursue an emotionally difficult and complex case involving the death of a loved one. As hard as it is to fight for what your family deserves in the midst of grief, seeking a fair settlement and holding negligent parties responsible for their conduct is one of the things that you can do to honor your loved one’s memory, and encourage those involved to be more careful in the future. If a loved one has been killed on the job, please contact us. You may be eligible for compensation.