According to the Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA), 5,333 workers died while working in 2019. That figure amounts to over 100 fatalities per week or approximately 15 deaths each day. Around 20% in 1,061 deaths occurred in construction, accounting for one in five worker deaths in the industry annually.
As a result, personal injury attorneys receive a lot of calls from clients whose family member was involved in a fatal fall or who was one of the statistics that make up industrial deaths in construction and manufacturing.
If you have had a family member lose his or her life on the job, you may be entitled to claim compensation for the industrial accident. To prove your case, you must show negligence or that the employer knew a hazard existed but acted irresponsibly or did not offer standard or reasonable care for preventing a mishap.
You must also show that an accident did occur as a result of this recklessness and that the person’s injuries led to their death. By speaking to a personal injury attorney who is well versed in wrongful death, you can review your case and find out how to proceed legally.
Because you only have two years to file a claim from the date of the decedent’s death, you should speak to a lawyer who specializes in industrial accident cases as soon as possible. After the two-year timeframe, you cannot file a legal claim.
What Evidence You Will Need to Collect
To file a wrongful death claim, you need to collect specific pieces of evidence. These documents should include the following:
- A death certificate that shows the exact cause of death, confirmed by the coroner.
- If the police were called to investigate, such as in the case of a slip-and-fall, you need to include the police report and evidentiary paperwork.
- An autopsy report should be included, if applicable, as well as medical records recording the victim’s injuries.
- Proof that a relationship existed between the victim and the negligent party. In a wrongful death claim for premises liability, you need to show what party was responsible for keeping the area, where the fatality occurred, safe.
- Tax returns and similar family financial records will need to be examined by your attorney to figure the financial and emotional impact of the loss of the decedent’s life. This is especially true if your family counted on the earnings of the victim to economically survive.
- Evidence of counseling. You may also include evidence, such as proof that your family members sought mental health counseling in connection with your loved one’s untimely demise. This evidence can be used to account for pain and suffering.
By consulting with a legal expert who handles wrongful death claims, you can lighten some of the burden you have been carrying.