Wrongful Death and Construction Accidents
Construction accidents are a leading cause of injury in the American workforce. Unfortunately, construction accidents sometimes prove fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2019.
When a construction accident results in wrongful death (a death that is preventable), surviving loved ones are likely to have questions about who is liable and what types of damages they may be due for wrongful death losses. Attorneys at G.R. Randy Akin, P.C., work with individuals in the Longview, TX, area to hold liable parties accountable for the losses related to a wrongful death.
Leading Causes of Construction Fatalities
Construction sites are fraught with hazards, such as elevated worksites, heavy equipment, machinery, and construction vehicles. Given these dangers, it is not surprising that construction is widely recognized as one of the most dangerous lines of work. Unfortunately, not only are construction accidents more common than accidents in other occupational fields, but so are construction fatalities.
Although any construction accident has the potential to result in death, four types of construction accidents are recognized as the most deadly. The leading causes of construction fatalities, which have been named the “fatal four,” include:
- Struck-by accidents (when a worker is struck by another object)
- Caught-in/between accidents (when a worker is trapped beneath or caught in or between two objects, or an object and the ground)
Does Workers’ Compensation Provide Death Benefits?
When a worker is injured in a construction accident, a workers’ compensation claim should be filed. A workers’ comp claim provides compensation for certain financial damages related to a workplace injury, including medical expenses and lost wages. If a workplace accident results in fatalities, surviving loved ones are likely to suffer financial losses as well. It is important for descendants of the deceased to be aware of their own rights regarding workers’ comp benefits.
Most workers’ comp insurance plans provide death benefits to the late employee’s family or dependents. Workers’ compensation death benefits may include a portion of the deceased’s average weekly wages and coverage for a certain amount of funeral and burial expenses.
Am I Due Additional Compensation?
Workers’ comp benefits do not cover the full extent of damages following a wrongful death. For instance, workers’ comp does not account for the non-economic damages of a wrongful death, including pain and suffering and loss of consortium (loss of love, companionship). If another person or party is responsible for a construction accident that resulted in wrongful death, surviving loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold these parties accountable for additional wrongful death damages. Our Longview attorneys can examine the details of a construction accident to determine if a civil claim should be filed.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If there is grounds to file a wrongful death claim after a construction accident, the state of Texas has strict guidelines regarding who can file the claim. According to state law, the only individuals who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas are:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Parent of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- A representative of the deceased’s estate
Contact Our Longview, TX, Law Firm
If you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, you may be due financial compensation beyond that which is provided by workers’ compensation. To discuss the possibility of a wrongful death claim with the attorneys at G.R. Randy Akin, P.C., send us a message online, or call (903) 297-8929 and schedule a personal consultation at our Longview law firm.