July 08, 2021

Blog Thumbnail: Houston Injury & Accidents

Can I Sue For Wrongful Death in a Construction Site Fall?

The unexpected death of a loved one due to a construction accident sends shock waves through a family. It leaves a void in love and companionship, and often puts families in dire financial straits. This stressful situation prompts the question, “can I sue for a wrongful death in a construction site fall?” Although these tragic deaths are often called “accidents,” the truth is that many could easily have been avoided. That’s why grieving family members would be well-served to consult with a construction accident lawyer and gain valuable insight about filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

At the Waldman Legal Group, we’re compassionate, and we have experience working with families permanently impacted by the loss of a loved one. Mr. Waldman & our experienced work injury legal team work hard to try to get you compensation necessary to sustain yourself financially. It would be fundamentally unfair for a construction company to skirt responsibility while you struggle to make ends meet.

Here is some helpful information about pursuing wrongful death claims after a construction fatality.

How Prevalent Are Construction Injuries & Fatalities?

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), more than 5,300 workers lost their lives on the job in 2019. Approximately 3.5 people in every 100,000 full-time employees died, averaging more than 100 weekly. Of those unfortunate losses, 20% occurred in the construction trades. That figure increased by 5% since 2007 and represented the highest fatality rate since 2003. The following 2019 BLS statistics highlight the ongoing risk of a fatal work injury everyday people face.

  • Experienced construction employees 55 and older accounted for 38% of all workplace fatalities. That demographic suffered only a 20% fatality rate in 1992.
  • Latino workers comprised 20% of the fatality rate. That figure was only 9% in 1992.
  • Texas was one of 28 states that suffered year-over-year fatality increases in 2019. Alabama and the District of Columbia remained static, while 21 states saw a decline in loss of life.
  • Transportation accidents increased by 2%, the most since 2011. This type of fatal worker injury incident remained the most prevalent.  
  • Slip and fall incidents increased by 11% and approached the 900 fatality mark.
  • Exposure to deadly chemicals and environments led to 642 worker deaths, the most since 2011.

Overall, construction and extraction occupations saw a 6% increase in job site deaths in 2019 that reached 1,066, the most since 2007. Those are stunning revelations that increase our concern about hard-working men and women who work construction jobs being at risk. That’s why it’s crucial to contact a construction accident lawyer if you lose a loved one.

What Are the Most Common Work Injury Deaths?

Anyone who has worked on a construction site or a related occupation understands these landscapes are inherently dangerous. Companies typically offer a good wage to assemble experienced and diligent crew members who recognize emerging dangers.

But the BLS data indicates that workers 55 and older perished in the construction sector at a rate of 38% of the total fatalities. It appears experience and knowledge about safety hazards cannot prevent certain types of work injury because of dangerous environments and inadequate safety protocols. These following rank among the most common types of violations cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

  • Fall Protection in Construction: OSHA requires companies to place safety guard rails at every hole, elevated platform, or runaway where a construction work might walk or climb. Certain duties also require approved safety harnesses and nets to prevent fatal falls.
  • Eye and Face Protection: Although eye protection may not seem related to fatal job site falls at first blush, working at heights or in hazardous spaces require clear vision and concentration. Getting temporarily blinded by shrapnel or flying debris can result in a tragic misstep. OSHA mandates that construction workers wear personal protective equipment that protects their vision.  
  • Machinery and Machine Guarding: It’s more common than one would imagine for construction outfits to remove power tool and machinery safety guards because they slow down efficiency. When someone inadvertently severs a major artery or losses a finger as a result, that’s no accident.
  • Scaffolding in Construction: Approximately 2.3 million — 65% of the construction industry — routinely perform tasks on scaffolds. Injuries from scaffold falls totals 4,500 injuries and more than 60 deaths annually. OSHA sets stringent guidelines regarding scaffolding setups, breakdowns, and safety measures for workers operating on them. When these regulations are not followed, deaths should be considered wrongful, not accidents.

These rank among the more common ways hard-working people sustain severe injuries or lose their lives due to company negligence. The U.S. Department of Labor requires all construction companies to implement wide-reaching types of fall protection. Those regulations are well known to decision-makers in the construction trades and published by OSHA. If you suspect a loved one died in a construction incident in which safety standards were ignored, promptly contact a Waldman Legal Group construction accident lawyer at (713) 688-4878.

Negligence In a Construction Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Construction projects typically bring multiple subcontractors to a site that are not always on the same page. Even if your loved one worked for a responsible outfit that diligently implemented OSHA guidelines, others may have acted recklessly. That’s one reason wrongful death lawsuits are complicated and require a construction accident lawyer to cast a wide net to identify and hold the irresponsible parties accountable. It’s generally prudent to consider the actions of the following parties in a civil lawsuit.

  • General Contractor
  • Multiple Subcontractors
  • Architects, Engineers, & Administrators
  • Equipment and Materials Manufacturers
  • Property Owners, Developers, & Leaseholders

If any of these potential defendants contributed substantial negligence to the tragedy, they could be held responsible in a wrongful death lawsuit. It’s also essential to remember that responsible business leaders carry worker’s compensation insurance that can help cover your family’s losses. Others may self-insure and make a reasonable settlement in instances where the company was proportionately liable. But the only way to get full compensation is to contact a construction accident lawyer to protect your family from suffering a financial setback as well as an emotional one.

Contact a Trusted Houston Construction Accident Lawyer

If a loved one recently suffered a tragic fatal work injury, we understand family members need time to grieve. That’s why we provide our community members with compassionate but determined legal care to pursue civil litigation in a non-intrusive fashion. We take on insurance carriers, construction companies, and anyone whose negligence (or worse) caused your loss. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys at the Waldman Legal Group help families secure full fair compensation during this time of crisis. Call our Houston wrongful death lawyers now at (713) 688-4878 for a free and confidential consultation.