If you lost a family member in a construction accident, you could have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Losing a loved one is emotionally devastating. If the victim was the family’s primary wage earner, it can be financially devastating as well. If another party caused the job-related accident that took your loved one’s life, you deserve compensation for your losses.
You don’t have to figure this out on your own. Talking to a wrongful death lawyer will help you understand your options for filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Having a lawyer on your side helps protect your legal rights to recover compensation.
Who Is Responsible for a Construction Fatality?
Victims of fatal construction accidents are often jobsite workers. However, victims can also be consultants, site visitors, or bystanders. The nature of your legal claim will depend on who had fault for your loved one’s fatal accident.
Responsibility for a construction or oilfield death can fall to one or more parties including:
- Project managers,
- General contractors
- Other subcontractors,
- Material suppliers,
- Transportation companies, and
- Equipment manufacturers.
In some cases, the project owner could be at fault for a jobsite fatality, as could the municipality in which the project is located.
To file a lawsuit for a construction fatality, your attorney will first identify all parties who caused or contributed to the accident. Establishing liability for your damages requires demonstrating that the at-fault party owed the victim a duty of care to reasonably protect them from harm. If the at-fault party’s wrongful actions or negligence subjected the victim to harm and an injury accident occurred, the at-fault party is liable for all resulting damages.
What Constitutes Negligence in an Oilfield or Construction Death?
Common examples of potential negligence that can lead to fatal construction accidents include:
- Failure to maintain equipment,
- Failure to provide supervision,
- Failure to address unsafe site conditions or activity,
- Failure to provide worker training,
- Failure to implement or enforce safety policies,
- Design defects,
- Construction defects, and
- Materials defects.
Regardless of how your loved one was killed in an oilfield or construction accident, you may have the right to recover compensation if someone’s negligence caused or contributed to the accident.
For an oilfield accident, injury and death claims can result from similar acts of carelessness or negligence. To determine whether negligence caused your loved one’s death, consult an oilfield or construction accident attorney as soon as possible.
Common Causes of Fatal Construction Accidents
Construction jobsite accidents can occur for virtually any reason. The most common incidents leading to fatalities include:
- Falls from ladders, scaffolding and rooftops;
- Slip and fall accidents at the jobsite;
- Falling debris from overhead sources;
- Dump truck, forklift, and loader collisions;
- Equipment malfunctions and faulty tools; and
- Trench or structural collapse.
Accidents at construction jobsites are often the result of one or more of the following causes:
- Poor equipment maintenance practices,
- Violations of safety protocols and procedures,
- Hazardous construction jobsite conditions,
- Inadequate training for machinery and equipment operation, and
- Defective or inferior construction materials.
No matter the nature and cause of your loved one’s fatal jobsite accident, a wrongful death attorney can identify the at-fault party and assist you in pursuing legal action.
Can You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most cases, you can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if you are the victim’s spouse, parent, or child.
Before filing a lawsuit for wrongful death, your attorney may recommend pursuing a claim through the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you have a persuasive case, the insurance company may offer to settle your claim without going to court. In most cases, this will provide compensation more quickly and help reduce the amount of legal fees associated with your case.
If the victim’s accident falls under the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, you typically cannot sue the employer. However, you may be able to pursue legal action against any third party who caused or contributed to the victim’s fatal injuries. You might also have legal recourse against the victim’s employer if the accident occurred due to gross negligence or intentional acts.
An attorney can evaluate the facts in your case and explain all your options for pursuing an insurance claim or filing a lawsuit for a work-related fatality.
How Can an Oilfield or Construction Injury Attorney Help?
Having an attorney on your side can help ease the fear and confusion you’re experiencing. Your attorney will fight to protect your rights and to maximize the value of your case.
A wrongful death lawyer will document your case extensively and calculate the value of your damages. In a construction death lawsuit, you might be entitled to recover damages that include:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of services provided by the victim;
- Loss of companionship, affection, and love;
- Loss of guidance and counsel;
- Loss of financial support; and
- Lost inheritance.
Your attorney will handle every aspect of your case. This frees you of the burden of pursuing a legal claim on your own and allows you to spend this challenging time with loved ones.
A construction death lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to obtain a fair settlement offer. If the insurance company will not agree to a reasonable settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in civil court and present your case to a jury.
Time is of the essence in filing a wrongful death claim. Statutes of limitations state that if you don’t file your claim within the established timeframe, you could lose your right to recover compensation. The statute of limitations for wrongful death varies by state. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn how the statute of limitations could affect your case.
Consult a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
As you face this difficult and stressful time, you might not know where to turn for help. A wrongful death attorney can provide much-needed support. Your lawyer can answer your questions, explain your options, and help you make the right choice for you and your family.
In Texas and New Mexico, the personal injury lawyers of Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., provide assistance to the families of victims who died due to workplace injuries and oilfield injuries. We have more than three decades of experience fighting for victims who were wrongfully injured or killed.