The Deadly Price of a Construction Paycheck: Are You Willing to Pay it to Support Your Family?
Compared to other states, Texas lags far behind in preventing fatal workplace accidents. In 2011, Texas was ranked as the number one state for work-related fatalities. Five years later, we’re not doing much better. Although the number of workplace fatalities is decreasing, Texas deaths remain 34 percent higher than California, the second-highest ranked state for deadly work-related injuries.
The reason for this alarming discrepancy may lie with two factors:
- Increased job danger. Texas has more inherently dangerous industries—including construction, oil refinery, port and maritime work—than most other states.
- Decreased job safety. Although federal guidelines are in place to protect workers regardless of where they live, some Texas industries fail to uphold these standards. As a result, lack of regulations and safety procedures may be to blame for a high casualty rate.
Construction: A Monopoly of Danger
Some work accidents are more dangerous and deadlier than others. There are four specific types of accidents that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration consider to be the most lethal—falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, and being caught in or between two objects. These accidents are commonly referred to as the “fatal four” by many construction workers, and when combined, make up a large percentage of Texas worker deaths.
The recent expansion of downtown Houston, along with the gowth of many other in-state construction projects, is making that percentage even greater. More projects mean tighter deadlines for construction companies eager to move on to the next jobsite. An already dangerous industry is made even more so by skimping on safety measures to encourage a faster build. Unfortunately, the need to save time ultimately increases workers’ risks for severe, disabling, and fatal injuries.
Where Does a Family Member’s Wrongful Death Leave You?
Little in life is more devastating than the loss of a loved one. The overwhelming grief can make it extremely difficult to come to terms with life after such a tragedy. It can seem almost impossible to move on without the presence of the one you lost.
Part of that worry for many families, especially when the departed was responsible for supporting the family, is how to replace the income that is no longer there. It might seem trivial to be concerned about money at a time when weightier matters are at hand. However, financial strain can tip the scales from you being able to be strong for your family, to you losing all hope for the future. We can’t allow that weight to break you.
If someone else—whether it was a boss, a manufacturer, or even a coworker—helped contribute to the accident that took the life of your family member, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, such lawsuits are not easy. They take time, a lot of attention to detail, and perseverance. You may very well have to fight a big corporation or an insurance company, or perhaps even the government to get the compensation you deserve.
Filing Support for a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death law is based solely on negligence. Although all deaths are tragic, not all of them are caused by someone else’s negligent actions. A wrongful death suit requires proving the defendant was fully or partially responsible for the accident that led to your loved one’s passing. If your claim is strong enough to prove liability, damages could include medical expenses acquired before death, lost wages, earning potential (how much your loved one could have earned if his life wasn’t cut short), pain and emotional distress (personal suffering), burial and funeral expenses, and more. To learn what your rights are and if you have a legitimate claim worth filing, you should seek legal counsel.
The law offices of Steven Lee, P.C. have been dedicated to serving the residents of Houston and the surrounding areas for over 40 years. Help is available 24 hours a day, and the initial consultation is always FREE. We’re also able to provide transportation options as well as home and hospital visits for your convenience. Contact us at 713-921-4171 or 1-800-232-3711 to see how we can use our experience to help you began control of your and your family’s future. Call now!