September 25, 2014
Can I Recover Compensation for a Wrongful Death at a Construction Site Accident?
Construction sites are dangerous places, as the ground is unstable, structures are usually incomplete and unsteady, and many tools, objects, materials, and debris may fall or be scattered on the ground. As a result, construction workers suffer the most workplace injuries of any occupation, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and many of those injuries are sadly fatal. If you have lost a loved one in or around a construction site, you should always contact a wrongful death attorney to discuss a possible case against the responsible party.
When discussing construction accidents, OSHA refers to the “Big Four,” which are the four most deadly hazards causing injury at construction sites. These four hazards are as follows:
1. Being struck by an object. People in or around construction sites may be struck by flying objects, falling objects, swinging objects, or even by equipment or objects at ground level. For example, a worker who is on scaffolding may drop a hammer that hits the head of another worker; a nail gun may malfunction and shoot a nail into someone else’s head; someone may be hit by materials on the end of a crane; or a person may be hit by a bulldozer on the ground.
2. Construction Fall Injuries. Construction workers often work at great heights, whether they are on a ladder, scaffolding, operating a crane, or simply standing on a roof. Anytime people work at heights, there is the risk of falling to their death.
3. Caught-in accidents. These accidents occur when a person becomes trapped. People may be trapped between two pieces of large building materials, a piece of large equipment and a wall or other structure, in a trench or hole that collapsed, and many more. These injuries are often fatal because the victim may be crushed or suffocated.
4. Electrocution. Construction sites often involve ungrounded wires or unfinished electrical systems, which cause a large number of fatal electrocutions each year.
If your loved one was killed on the job on a construction site, worker’s compensation may not provide adequate relief for you and your family. The Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act allows you to try to receive additional compensation for the sudden death of your spouse, parent, or other family member.