If you have lost a loved one in a construction site accident you may be wondering if you can file for a wrongful death lawsuit. Generally speaking, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim if the deceased would have been able to pursue a personal injury claim had they survived.
This article discusses the most commonly asked questions such as who can file a wrongful death claim, who is held responsible, and the damages you may be entitled to.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you are the spouse, child, or parent of the deceased you can pursue a claim through a wrongful death lawyer. Certain cases allow siblings or other close relatives to file a claim if there are no other qualified family members available. It must be a representative of the deceased’s estate.
Most Common Safety Code Violations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has listed the most common code violations on construction job sites. They are as follows:
- Inadequate Fall Protection
- Unsafe Scaffolding
- Unsafe and Improperly Used Ladders
- Inadequate Use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- Unsafe Use of Aerial Lifts
These OSHA violations oftentimes lead to the most common construction site injuries. The most common injuries reported are listed below:
- Broken Bones
- Lacerations and Abrasions
- Internal Bleeding/Organ Damage
- Puncture Wounds
- Exposure to Hazardous Materials
Falls are the most common type of accident reported and due to construction sites working at great heights, they are frequently fatal. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of code violations or injuries.
Who is Responsible for Construction Accidents?
A successful wrongful death claim must explain that a responsible party was responsible for the accident because they were negligent. The most common responsible parties include:
- General Contractor
- Real Estate Developer
- Equipment Manufacturer
- Jobsite Supervisor
- Materials Manufacturer
The accident that resulted in death may be caused by blatant disregard for safety precautions, substandard materials, poorly maintained equipment or heavy equipment, unrealistic deadlines, or a combination of each.
Workmans Compensation and Wrongful Death Claims
Although it can vary by state, under Alabama law any company that employs five or more people must carry worker’s compensation insurance. This means that workers are entitled to benefits after a three-day waiting period unless the employee is disabled for twenty-one days or more.
Benefits are two-thirds of your average, weekly pay but are capped at $920 per week with a minimum of $253 per week. Usually, if a company has worker’s compensation, an injured employee would not be able to sue the company directly for personal injuries.
Keep in mind that just because a company has worker’s compensation doesn’t mean that family members of the deceased can not pursue a wrongful death claim although worker’s comp is in place to protect both the company and the workers.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The amount of time you have to file a wrongful death claim will depend on your state’s statute of limitations. This is the amount of time a person has to file a civil claim. For example, in Alabama, you only have two years from the time of the accident to make a claim.
It is recommended that you contact a wrongful death attorney near you to ensure that you are filing in an acceptable time frame.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one was a construction worker who died in a workplace accident, there are several types of damages you may be entitled to. Possible areas of compensation include:
- Burial and Funeral Expenses
- Pain and Suffering that the Deceased Person Endured (Before Death)
- Lost Wages
- Future Loss of Income (Including Retirement Benefits)
- Medical Expenses
- Loss of Parental Guidance or Companionship
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
If you feel that you, or a loved one, have been involved in a wrongful death from construction accidents, consult a personal injury lawyer with Strickland and Kendall, LLC, to validate your claim and guide you forward in the process. Contact our team for a free consultation to discuss your claim 24/7, seven days a week at (800) 874-3528.