Wrongful Death from Construction Accidents: What You Need to Know
By Michael Verna on May 28, 2019
The loss of a loved one can be a difficult time, especially if the death was a result of workplace negligence. In such situations, a wrongful death lawsuit can help hold negligent parties accountable and provide some financial relief in what is often a stressful time.
Construction sites pose many dangers to workers, particularly when employers fail to provide adequate resources to employees, which is why the attorneys of Bowles & Verna LLP frequently represent construction workers and their loved ones in wrongful death cases.
If you have lost a loved one in a wrongful death from a construction accident in the San Francisco, CA, area, we encourage you to contact the law firm of Bowles & Verna to learn more about legal remedies available to you.
Construction Sites and the Fatal Four
Construction sites can be a dangerous place to work, resulting in serious injuries and death. Construction sites are sometimes so dangerous that, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in five worker deaths in 2017 was in construction.
OSHA recognizes four of the most common causes of deaths on construction sites, responsible for more than half of all construction site deaths, as the fatal four. The fatal four include:
- Being struck by an object
- Being stuck or caught in between objects
The Fatal Four and Wrongful Death
When it comes to preventing injury and deaths on construction sites, it's essential that construction workers in the Bay Area be provided appropriate safety equipment, training, and properly maintained machinery. Without these, the risk of workers being impacted by the fatal four greatly increases.
Employers, construction site foremen, or construction companies who act negligently and do not provide such safety measures as the following may be held liable for wrongful death:
- Inadequate, improper, or no training
- No fall protection, such as guard rails, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems
- No lockout/tagout protocol for dangerous equipment that could cause electrocution, cause a worker to be struck or stuck between objects, or become otherwise injured or killed
- Lack of machine guarding
- Improperly maintained machinery
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit when the death of a loved one was caused by construction site negligence won't ease the pain of loss, but it can help hold those responsible for the death liable and may prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Those who can file a wrongful death lawsuit can vary by state. In San Francisco and the state of California, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by:
- The surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Domestic partner
- Deceased person's parents, stepchildren, or “putative spouse” if he or she is financially dependent on the deceased
What Damages May be Recovered in a Construction Site Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit aim to compensate surviving loved ones for financially losses associated with the death as well as personal losses. These may include:
- Lost income and loss of future income
- Medical expenses related to the deceased person's final injury or illness
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of love, emotional support, moral support, and guidance
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of financial support
Contact the Wrongful Death Attorneys of Bowles & Verna LLP
If you believe your loved one died a wrongful death while working on a construction site, it's important to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. The wrongful attorneys of Bowles & Verna LLP can review the details of your loved one's death to determine if there are grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. To schedule a private consultation, please call our law firm at (925) 935-3300.