A 27-year-old construction worker was killed in a tragic accident while working on a job site last week in Phoenix. It occurred at 11:42 am on March 17 at a construction site near Van Buren Street and First Avenue, where crews are building a new residence hall for the downtown Phoenix location of Arizona State University (ASU).
Though Phoenix police are still investigating what happened to the man, it's believed a crane dropped its heavy cargo on him. He was taken to a hospital where he was in critical condition and then passed away the same day. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ASU, and the Phoenix police will continue to work together to determine what occurred in this devastating construction accident.
Accidents at Construction Sites
As anyone in this industry knows, working on construction sites can be hazardous for many reasons. In fact, according to OSHA, in 2018 alone, just over 1,000 workers in the construction field died. The most common causes of accidents in construction include:
- Struck by an object
- Caught in or compressed by materials or equipment
When these tragic accidents occur, the employer is often at least partly responsible for the injuries or deaths that follow. After all, workplace accidents are usually the fault of supervisors or other employees not following safety guidelines. In some cases, they're the direct result of employers taking shortcuts to save money or time. For this reason, the employer is often legally liable for workplace injuries and deaths.
Workers' Compensation After a Workplace Death
If you've lost a family member to a construction accident in Maryland, you might be worried about how to pay for the funeral and any medical costs. And if you relied on your family member's income, you might be left wondering how to pay your regular bills, all while grieving your sudden loss.
But employers are required by law to carry workers' compensation coverage, which means you can file for death benefits after losing a loved one to a workplace accident. In Maryland, as long as you file within 18 months of the death, you should start getting compensation for up to 144 months if you're a surviving spouse or dependent child. The amount you will get and how long you will get it depend on a few factors, including your loved one's regular salary.
In most cases, you can't initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against an employer that carries workers' compensation. Instead, you'll get the death benefit without having to prove fault against the employer. However, there are some exceptions, such as if a third party was at fault for the workplace death.
If you're wondering whether you should file for death benefits or will need to initiate a lawsuit against the at-fault party, talk to a Maryland personal injury lawyer today. A legal professional who has experience with such cases can guide you during this devastating time, ensuring you get the compensation you need to continue living life as you grieve your loss.