When a loved one has been wrongfully killed in a fatal accident, families may be left with myriad difficulties and unpleasant challenges ahead. Fatal workplace accidents are a serious concern for workers and their families. In 2012, there were 4,628 fatal workplace injuries in the United States. In 2013, there were 3,929 worker fatalities following fatal workplace accidents throughout the private sector. A little over 20 percent of fatal workplace accidents occurred in the construction industry.

The four leading causes of construction worker deaths are sometimes described as the “fatal four” and include falls; workers being struck by an object; electrocutions; and workers being caught in between objects resulting in injury and death. Falls represent nearly 37 percent of fatal workplace accidents; workers being struck by an object represent a little over 10 percent of fatal workplace accidents; electrocutions represent nearly 9 percent of fatal workplace accidents; and workers being caught in between objects represents nearly 3 percent of fatal workplace accidents.

Fatal workplace accidents are troubling because they may leave families with emotional trauma and economic struggles. Families may suffer the loss of support and services and be faced with remaining medical and funeral expenses. The damages families suffer financially following a fatal accident may be on top of the pain and suffering the family endures following the loss of a loved one.

Because of the unfortunate realities following a fatal workplace accident, families may be able to recover compensation, based on the circumstances of the accident and the characteristics of the victim, for the damages they have suffered and may also have workers’ compensation options to consider. The option to bring a wrongful death claim exists to help families with the difficulties and damages they may face following a fatal accident.

Source: Occupational Health & Safety Administration, “Commonly Used Statistics,” accessed on Jan. 19, 2015