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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Five Things to Know About Seeking Compensation After a “Fatal Four” Construction Death

Serious construction accidents often happen on various types of construction sites, and construction workers can sustain serious and life-threatening injuries. Compared to other professions and industries, construction workers sustain fatal on-the-job injuries at a particularly high rate. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 20% of fatal injuries that occur in private workplaces happen in the construction industry, accounting for more than 1,000 construction site deaths every year. A majority of these construction accident deaths involve what OSHA defines as the “fatal four,” or the four most common causes of deadly injuries in the construction industry. The “fatal four” include falls, struck-by accidents, caught-in or between accidents, and electrocutions.

If you recently lost a loved one in a deadly construction accident resulting from one of the “fatal four,” the following are five things you should know.

1. Survivors May be Eligible to Seek Compensation After a Fatal Construction Accident

The first and most important thing to know after a construction “fatal four” accident is that the survivors of the deceased may be eligible to seek financial compensation. To be clear, financial compensation can be available to survivors. The ways in which a surviving family member may be able to seek financial compensation will depend upon the specific facts of the case, including whether the employer (or a general contractor, for example) was negligent and that negligence caused the fatal injury.

2. Workers’ Compensation Benefits May be Available to Survivors

Surviving family members often are able to seek workers’ compensation benefits in New York when a construction worker dies from a fall, an electrocution, a struck-by accident, or a caught-in or between accident. Workers’ compensation benefits can be awarded regardless of fault, including in situations where the worker’s own negligence contributed to the accident.

3. Workers’ Compensation is Not the Only Remedy if the Employer’s Negligence Caused the Deadly Accident

While workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy in most places, New York allows injured construction workers (or their survivors in the case of fatal accidents) to file a lawsuit against a negligent employer.

4. New York Labor Law May Allow You to File a Lawsuit Against the Employer

Negligent employers can be held accountable through a lawsuit under New York Labor Law. Section 200, 240, and 241 permit injured construction workers (or their survivors in the case of fatal accidents) to file lawsuits for general negligence under Section 200, scaffolding negligence under Section 240, and trenching and excavation negligence under Section 241.

5. You Should Have a New York Construction Accident Attorney on Your Side

Fatal construction accident cases can be complicated, and it is important to work with a construction accident lawyer in New York who can assess your case and help you with your claim.

Contact Our Experienced New York Construction Accident Attorneys

Nobody should have to go through the devastating process of losing a loved one in a fatal and preventable workplace accident. Yet deadly accidents occur more often than they should on construction sites in New York, and it is important to seek compensation to help you with the tremendous financial losses while holding a negligent employer accountable. One of our experienced New York construction accident lawyers can speak with you today about your options for filing a claim. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information.


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