Due to the hazardous nature of the work, the construction industry has long been recognized as one with a high rate of serious injuries and fatalities. Here, the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos discuss the necessary steps to follow if you have lost a loved one due to negligent acts on a construction site.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 18.5% of workplace deaths in the United States occur in the construction industry. This makes construction one of the deadliest occupations in the nation. Following the death of a loved one, a lawsuit is typically the last thing on the minds of close family members, as the loss of a loved one can never truly be rectified by a lawsuit. However, after some time has passed, it may be worth investigating whether a death was linked to a negligent act on a job site.
Top Causes for Death
Often, construction workers are required to work in high risk environments, and unfortunately, this is a required part of the job. According to the CDC falls remain the leading cause of work related deaths in construction, accounting for one third of total fatalities within the industry. Other common incidents leading to death include electrocutions, trauma related to falling materials and being caught in between workplace accidents. Together these incidents are known as the “fatal four” as they account for almost 60% of all construction related deaths and injuries.
Wrongful Death and Survivor Actions
When a construction worker dies or is injured, there are two potential legal avenues to pursue justice. A wrongful death or personal injury action, and a survivor action. Typically, when a death occurs, both wrongful death and survivors action claims are made. However, they do differ, mainly in the types of damages available.
When filing a wrongful death action, the family of the deceased worker claims that the worker died because of the defendant’s negligence, the family members suffered losses as a result of the death and therefore the defendant is responsible for compensating the family for their losses. Such losses can be a loss of quality of life, loss of financial support and loss of emotional support.
By filling a survivor claim, the family of the deceased argues that the worker died because of the defendant’s negligence, the worker suffered and was in pain before their death, had the worker survived he or she would sue for the damages they had suffered, and the defendant should be held liable for the pain and suffering the worker endured.
Liability in Construction Accidents
Construction sites and jobs have several different components to them that can make liability difficult to establish in such claims. There are multiple parties involved at all times, and when an accident occurs more than one party may be liable. Most commonly, those who may be liable for the death of a loved one may include (but are not limited to):
- Construction company owners
- Design engineers
- Construction machinery manufactures
Wrongful Death Compensation
In Maryland, family members such as spouses, parents, children, and siblings can seek civil justice for the death of a loved one after a construction-related incident. These family members are eligible to file both wrongful death and survivor claims to pursue damages related to the loss of their loved one.
The loss of a loved one is never easy, and neither is navigating the complex legal landscape inherent in seeking the compensation that your family may deserve. Allow the personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos to fight for you and your family during such challenging times. Our team has the necessary experience to help you receive the compensation you are owed after a negligent construction incident. For more information contact us for a no fee consultation today!