At Buttafuoco & Associates, we understand that construction is a dangerous job.
In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private construction industry has the highest number of fatalities of any industry in New Jersey. Given the heavy machinery and great heights involved on many construction job sites, it’s no wonder it tops the list in our home state of New Jersey.
In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes for construction site fatalities, when a fatality might rise to the level of a wrongful death case, and how a construction industry attorney in New Jersey may be able to help.
Common Causes for Construction Site Fatalities
There are a number of common causes for construction site accidents. The following are at the top of the list:
- Falls from heights: Construction workers often work at elevated heights, such as on ladders, scaffolding, or rooftops. Falls from these heights can be deadly.
- Electrocution: Electrical hazards are present on many construction sites, and workers can suffer electrocution from contact with live wires or equipment.
- Being struck by objects: Heavy machinery, falling tools, and other objects can strike workers.
- Caught-in/between incidents: Workers may be caught in machinery or between objects, such as in a trench collapse or when working in a confined space.
- Equipment failure: Equipment failure can occur due to poor maintenance or faulty design.
- Fires and explosions: Flammable materials and other hazards can lead to fires and explosions on construction sites.
- Toxic exposure: Workers may be exposed to toxic chemicals, fumes, or other hazardous substances on construction sites, which can lead to long-term health problems.
All of these scenarios can result in serious injuries, exorbitant medical bills, lost time from work, and a variety of other life-altering outcomes.
If you or a loved one is injured in a serious construction accident, working with a construction accident attorney in Northern New Jersey may be in your best interest.
When is a Construction Site Fatality a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury lawsuit brought on behalf of the deceased by surviving family members to seek compensation for the losses; in New Jersey, this only includes monetary damages, such as lost income, funeral costs, and related medical expenses.
For the fatality to be considered a wrongful death case, the worker’s death must be a result of negligence, recklessness, or intentional wrongdoing.
In other words, if the death could have been prevented with proper safety protocols, or if a supervisor acted with disregard for the safety of their workers, then the case may be considered an example of wrongful death.
Depending on the parties responsible or the nature of the accident, a wrongful death lawsuit could fall one of the many types of personal injury cases.
Some of these cases might seem cut-and-dried with an obviously responsible party, especially in cases of obvious recklessness. But our Northern New Jersey construction accident lawyers have identified two types of wrongful death lawsuits that may be less obvious:
- Product liability: These suits are not brought against anyone on the job, but are filed against the manufacturer of the defective products like faulty equipment in this case that results in injuries or worker deaths.
- Failure to warn: Construction site management and employers have a duty to provide sufficient safety training and warnings (such as signs) of workplace potential hazards. Failing to do this can result in a charge of negligence.
When wrongful death claims fall into one of the two types above and the at-fault party isn’t clear, working with an attorney is often necessary in order to receive the compensation you deserve.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you believe your loved one’s fatality is a wrongful death case, it is essential to get in touch with an experienced Northern New Jersey construction accident law firm as soon as possible.
An attorney can investigate the accident, determine who should be held liable, and navigate the complex legal statutes and precedents relevant to your case.
At Buttafuoco & Associates, we have the experience to win your case and help you find closure.
Call 1-800-NOW-HURT for a free consultation.