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Wrongful Death Arising from Construction Accidents

Compassionate White Plains Lawyers Protecting the Rights of Grieving Families

When most people leave for work in the morning, it is generally assumed that they will return home unharmed. Regrettably, this is not always the case for individuals who are employed in the construction industry. Construction sites are among the most hazardous working environments in New York City and across the nation. In fact, about 1,000 Americans are killed in a sudden and preventable workplace accident each year. When a construction worker loses his or her life, it can have a devastating emotional and financial impact on loved ones who are left behind. For more than a decade, the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC has vigorously advocated on behalf of the surviving family members of fatal construction accident victims in the White Plains area as well as the rest of Westchester County and across the state. Our caring attorneys provide results-oriented service in wrongful death claims.

Pursue Compensation Through a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of another person’s careless, reckless, or negligent act. When a loved one is killed in an accident, the responsible party should be held accountable. Although New York labor laws require building owners and general contractors to comply with a number of safety standards, construction workers still suffer devastating and sometimes fatal injuries at work. Fall hazards, equipment accidents, fires, electrocution, chemical exposure, and other incidents can cause the untimely death of a building site employee in the blink of an eye.

A wrongful death lawsuit allows certain surviving family members to pursue damages related to the loss of financial support and guidance they experienced as a result of an accidental death. In New York, five elements are required to prove wrongful death:

  • A fatality occurred in an accident;
  • The accident was caused by a defendant’s wrongful act;
  • The decedent could have brought a cause of action in a New York court if he or she had survived;
  • A loss was suffered by one or more surviving family members; and
  • Actual damages were incurred.

Although no amount of financial compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, the personal representative of a construction accident victim’s estate can file a claim on behalf of the deceased person’s family to recover some of the damages the decedent might have received if he or she had survived. This often includes lost future earnings, conscious pain and suffering experienced prior to death, medical bills, and funeral expenses. In New York, a personal representative is generally the executor of a deceased person’s will, but he or she may instead be appointed by the Surrogate’s Court. In most situations, a wrongful death case must be filed within two years after the fatal accident. This is called the statute of limitations.

According to the nation’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately one-fifth of workplace fatalities each year occur at a construction site. Although many construction workers are aware of the inherent dangers present at a building site, some factors such as defective equipment are simply outside of their control. In some cases, the manufacturer or distributor of a defective piece of machinery such as a crane or saw may be held responsible for a construction employee’s wrongful death if the fatal accident was caused by a negligent design, manufacturing process, or inadequate testing. Sometimes, a defectively engineered piece of construction equipment may result in a fatal accident even if the product was made according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Consult a Skilled New York Attorney for Your Construction Accident Case

Construction workers in New York and elsewhere face a higher risk of suffering a job-related injury or death than individuals who are employed in most other industries. At the Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, our knowledgeable construction accident lawyers serve the surviving family members of those who lost their lives on building sites throughout New York. Our clients come from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. If you lost someone close to you as a result of a preventable building site accident, please contact us online or give us a call today at (877) 580-6636.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph