Accidents in the workplace happen every day, particularly on construction sites, farms, fishing boats and oil rigs – some of the most dangerous places to work in Texas. Commercial truck drivers also face a heightened risk of injury or death due to the amount of time they spend on the road.
The type of work an individual performs, where that work is conducted, whether safety measures are in place, and a variety of other factors determine a worker’s risk of injury or death. However, a wrongful death may occur in virtually any job, even ones that seem “safe.”
According to workplace fatality reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently received from Texas employers, workplace fatalities in Texas have involved workers falling from a significant height, being struck by a falling object, getting caught in a piece of equipment, being struck by a motor vehicle or involved in a vehicle-related accident, and being killed in a well explosion.
When workplace accidents turn fatal, it will often leave the victim’s family devastated and uncertain where to turn for help. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help surviving family members understand their legal options and determine whether they may be eligible to recover damages from a “non-subscriber” employer and/or a third-party non-employer whose negligence contributed to the fatal accident.
The Bob Richardson Law Firm has represented families in the Austin and Waco areas and surrounding Texas communities in wrongful death actions for more than 30 years. If you have suffered the unexpected and unjust loss of a loved one in an on-the-job accident, let us evaluate your case and legal options free of charge and with no obligations.
Call us today toll-free or use our online contact form to set up an appointment. We won’t charge you for our legal services unless and until we recover compensation for you.
Common Causes of Death in the Workplace
Statistics from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) indicate that 493 people sustained fatal occupational injuries in a single recent year. Occupational fatalities in Texas accounted for 11.2 percent of the national total of 4,405 fatal occupational injuries.
Not all workplace injuries and deaths may occur as a result of another person’s negligence, careless behavior or intentional misdeeds, however the TDI indicates the three most common causes of death in Texas workplaces are:
- Transportation incidents (which include those on roadways involving a motor vehicle, mining industry support activities, trucking accidents and wholesale trade transportation incidents): 213
- Contact with objects and equipment (including being struck by an object or piece of equipment, as well as getting caught in equipment): 76
- Falls, slips or trips (including falls on the same level, as well as falls to a lower level): 73
Other common causes of fatal injury in the workplace in our state include violence by people or animals, fire and explosions, and exposure to harmful substances or environments.
Types of Benefits Available for Survivors
Family members who need to file a claim following the wrongful death of a loved one may be eligible to pursue survivor benefits through the workers’ compensation system and, in some case, from a third party who holds liability.
Types of benefits available for survivors may include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of current and future income
- Loss of companionship and care
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Was a Third Party Responsible for the Death?
In cases where the careless or negligent actions of a non-employer third party are found to have played a contributing role in a worker’s death, surviving family members may pursue a third-party lawsuit seeking additional damages from the responsible party. Third-party involvement does not negate workers’ comp death benefits, however it can supplement these benefits so as to ease the financial impact to surviving loved ones.
If you have a loved one who has suffered fatal workplace injuries as a result of a third party’s negligent or reckless behavior, it is important to consult with a skilled wrongful death lawyer to find out the rights you may have.
How an Austin, Texas Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
While very little can be done to ease the pain and suffering you and other family members are likely feeling following the death of a loved one in a workplace accident, hiring a Texas wrongful death lawyer can greatly improve the chances of getting justice on your loved one’s behalf. Negligent parties should be held accountable for their actions. Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas? A diligent lawyer will be able to conduct an in-depth investigation and gather the evidence necessary to help you pursue maximum compensation from all available sources.
To discuss a potential wrongful death claim in Austin, Waco or surrounding Texas communities, contact The Bob Richardson Law Firm today. Call us toll-free or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your case.
- OSHA: FY15 Fatalities and Catastrophes To Date
- Texas Department of Insurance: Texas Fatal Occupational Injuries Decrease in 2013 (Preliminary Results)