Losing a friend or family member is difficult, regardless of the situation. Grief has a way of completely consuming a person, and it’s easy to get distracted from other realities. Discovering that the death was a result of someone else’s carelessness can be devastating. No one likes to dwell on loss, and bringing finances and legal action into the equation can seem too much to handle or disrespectful to a loved one’s memory.
However, it’s imperative that any death caused by negligence be taken seriously. The victim’s family deserves some relief, as well as a chance to prevent the same circumstances from causing another fatality.
Perhaps most shocking is when a person dies from a preventable work-related injury. Although employers are required by law to keep their workplaces safe, those who work in construction have to navigate a multitude of built-in dangers. Heavy machinery, live wires, noise, tools, vehicles, uneven ground, and scaffolding are just a few of the workplace hazards even the safest of sites will have. General laborers and skilled tradespeople alike have to constantly deal with deadly risks.
In 2015, there were almost 4,400 worker deaths in the private sector – and more than one-fifth were in construction. That’s right. One in five of all the workers who suffered fatal on-the-job injuries were in a single industry. A few construction accidents are so common that they are responsible for approximately 60 percent of the annual fatality rate of construction workers. Referred to by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as the “Fatal Four,” these accidents are:
- A person is struck by an object
- A person is caught in or stuck between objects.
Speculation by many experts suggests that if we could somehow do away with these four hazards, an average of 602 construction workers’ lives would be saved annually!
Of the Fatal Four, falls are the most common. Workers lose their balance for any number of reasons, such as reaching for misplaced objects, slippery surfaces, inadequate training, failure to properly inspect equipment, failure to follow appropriate safety regulations, and failure to uphold health protocols. Interestingly, lack of proper fall protection is the most-cited violation by OSHA inspectors.
Electrocution or struck-by accidents are roughly equal in frequency. Workers who are always around electricity (like electricians) are at risk for being electrocuted, but so are workers who are in contact with exposed wires and overhead lines. Faulty wiring is also a problem. Struck-by accidents involve swinging objects, falling tools and materials, flying debris, and rolling objects such as forklifts.
The fourth most common fatal danger at construction jobsites occurs when someone gets a body part or their entire body trapped, stuck, or squeezed. Examples include people getting pinned between pieces of equipment or vehicles, getting arms or legs caught in machinery, or being buried in a cave-in or collapsed trench.
When misconduct or negligence on the part of an individual, company or municipal entity results in a fatality, that’s “wrongful death.” To determine if a wrongful death suit could be successful in court, try to look at the cause of death objectively. If another party’s actions or inactions caused the death, and if the victim could have conceivably filed an action for damages had they survived, those are good indicators.
There is a time limit as to when wrongful death claims can be made. The clock starts ticking on the date of death and typically must be filed within one year. In Louisiana, the surviving spouse and/or child can file suit. If there is no spouse or child, the surviving mother and/or father can file. If there are also no parents, surviving siblings may file. Louisiana allows grandparents to file a wrongful death suit if the victim leaves behind no spouse, children, parents, or siblings.
Central Louisiana construction death lawyer Chris J. Roy Jr., founder of the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, understands that life can be overwhelming for those left behind after a wrongful death accident. He seeks to ease the financial, mental, and physical burden that the litigation process can add by consistently communicating with you, as well as handling the complicated details so you can focus your energies elsewhere during this time of loss.
By choosing the Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm, you will benefit from nearly three decades of experience and skilled representation. While the firm is large enough to supply the necessary resources to handle any type of personal injury, it is also small enough to provide the individual attention that your case deserves. Chris J. Roy, Jr. will carefully examine all possible avenues for compensation to make sure you get the best recovery possible and that all responsible parties are held accountable. If you have lost someone you love in a construction accident in Alexandria, Pineville, Rapides Parish, Grant Parish, or anywhere in Central Louisiana, contact trusted advocate Chris J. Roy, Jr. by calling 1-318-487-9537 for a free initial consultation.