Can I sue for wrongful death in a construction site fall?

Being a construction site worker has its inherent dangers, whether that be falling from a roof, getting injured by a power tool, or being hit by falling debris. In the worst accidents, workers can die. If you’re asking, “can I sue for wrongful death in a construction site fall?”, the answer is almost always “yes.”

Of the 5,333 employees in the U.S. who died on the job in 2019, roughly 1 in 5 were construction workers, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That means 20% of all fatalities in private industry (1,061 people) were in construction.

Getting injured in a construction accident has implications for an entire family because it means time off work, lost income, huge medical bills, and sometimes permanent disability for the person injured. If the accident results in death, the implications are even more catastrophic for a family. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a construction site accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. This is especially true if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can assess your case and explain your legal rights. Call the Stoddard Law Firm at 470-467-2200 to learn more.

Injuries and fatalities in a construction site fall

You can file a wrongful death lawsuit for a construction accident.

Falls from scaffolding, sunstroke, electrocution, and machinery malfunctions can all result in a fatal construction site accident. There is a great deal of activity and heavy equipment all moving at the same time on a construction site. Add to that power lines, inclement weather, and tight schedules and this can be a recipe for disaster.

In 2019, 11.4 million workers were employed in the construction industry in the U.S. Falls remain the leading cause of work-related deaths in construction, accounting for more than 36% of the total number of fatalities in this industry, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists the most common safety code violations on construction sites as:

  1. Inadequate fall protection
  2. Unsafe scaffolding
  3. Unsafe or improperly used ladders
  4. Lack of fall prevention training
  5. Eye and face protection not being used
  6. Inadequate hazard communication
  7. Head protection not being used
  8. Improper use or maintenance of aerial lifts.

Common injuries on a construction site can include:

  • Concussion
  • TBI
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts, lacerations, and abrasions
  • Electrocution
  • Burns
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Sunstroke
  • Puncture wounds
  • Exposure to chemicals or hazardous materials
  • Broken neck or back.

Because falls at construction sites often mean falls from great heights, they are frequently fatal. Whether falling off a roof of a single-family house or falling several floors off of an office building that is under construction, the results can be catastrophic and lead to wrongful death claims.

How to sue for wrongful death after a fall at a construction site

A spouse, parent or child can typically sue for wrongful death if a loved one has died in a construction site accident. In some cases, if none of the above exist, a sibling may be able to sue. To be successful in one of these cases, it’s important to identify the parties responsible for the accident and prove that they were negligent. These parties could include:

  • General contractor
  • Real estate developer
  • Equipment manufacturer
  • Jobsite supervisor
  • Materials manufacturer.

The accident may have been caused by disregard for safety precautions, sub-standard materials, poorly maintained equipment, unreasonable deadlines, or a combination of all of these. If your loved one died because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you are entitled to financial compensation.

To prove negligence, your construction accident lawyer will have to prove 4 elements in your lawsuit. These include:

  1. Duty
    The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal “duty of care” to ensure that a workplace is safe.
  2. Breach
    A plaintiff must show that the defendant breached this duty by doing, or failing to do, something that a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation.
  3. Causation
    A plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions, or inaction, caused the death of their loved one.
  4. Damages
    Damages means that there’s a monetary way of compensating a plaintiff for the loss of their loved one.

What damages can I get for wrongful death?

If your loved one died in a construction site accident, there are several types of damages you may be entitled to. Damages can range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the specifics in your case. In Georgia, family members are entitled to compensation for both the economic and non-economic costs of a death caused by another person’s actions. These may include:

  • Lost benefits and wages the deceased might have earned
  • Medical expenses related to the deceased’s last illness or injury
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering the deceased person endured before death
  • Loss of companionship, care, and other intangible benefits the deceased would have provided.

The best way to find out how much you may be entitled to is to speak to a skilled and experienced wrongful death attorney.

Contact a wrongful death lawyer today

The Stoddard Firm has helped countless families get the justice they deserve when they’ve lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident. We understand that no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, but it can offer a way to provide for and protect surviving family members now and in the future. Our legal team is compassionate, caring, and skilled when handling these cases. We will walk beside you every step of the way, and you will never be alone in the legal process. We treat every client with the utmost respect and care because we understand that you are going through a very difficult time. If you would like to find out more about the legal process and get answers to your questions, please give us a call at 470-467-2200. We are here to help.

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