According to OSHA, almost 19% of all work-related deaths in the US happen in the construction industry. The top four accident causes account for over 57% of all deaths in the industry, and they are electrocutions, falls, strikes by an object, and/or being caught in or between objects. In most cases, families aren’t thinking of a lawsuit immediately after the death of a relative. However, in the months after ward, it may be worthwhile to look into hiring legal representation. In the following article is a discussion of construction accident law, and how wrongful death and worker’s comp laws can affect a case.
Survivor Actions and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Two types of lawsuits can arise after a construction worker dies on the job: a survivor’s action and a wrongful death case. In most instances, the decedent’s family files the claims simultaneously. The two suits vary mostly in the type of damages that may be available.
In wrongful death claims, the decedent’s family argues that the death was due to negligence on the part of the defendant. For a case to be successful, the family must have suffered a loss because of the person’s death, and the responsible party should provide compensation to the family. Wrongful death cases hinge on factors such as the loss of love, emotional and financial support.
In a survivor claim, a deceased person’s family argues that the death was caused by negligence and that the person suffered before they died. A defendant cannot escape liability for non-economic damages because the victim passes away, and they are therefore liable for damages to the decedent’s estate.
Workers’ Compensation Laws
Worker’s compensation law prevents workers from suing companies over injuries. In exchange, workers are compensated for those injuries out of a mandatory fund. Claims are made on a no-fault basis, meaning that negligence isn’t a factor, but compensation amounts are typically far less than those in standard lawsuits.
There are some ways to mitigate the effects of workers’ compensation laws, however, the efforts are often complex and can vary by jurisdiction. Anyone contemplating a wrongful death claim or a survivor’s lawsuit should call a wrongful death lawyer who handles construction accident cases.
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