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Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Construction Accident

By Ashton J. Hyde on May 01, 2016


At Younker Hyde Macfarlane, we always work closely with the loved ones of accident victims. Following catastrophic accidents and fatal injuries, the people of Salt Lake City know that they can turn to us for strong legal counsel and a belief in their cause.

Fatal construction accidents can be especially challenging given the various parties involved. We'd like to consider a few matters related to fatal construction accidents and how we can help our clients.

Fatalities Construction Sites: Workers and Bystanders

Whether the fatal accident involves workers at a construction site or an innocent bystander who was merely passing by, fatal construction accidents have to be taken extremely seriously. Seeking justice means holding the negligent party who caused the death of your loved one accountable for the tragedy.

Most Common Fatal Accidents at Construction Sites

OSHA estimates that roughly 57 percent of all construction industry deaths are the result of these four kinds of incidents:

  • Falls
  • Electrocutions
  • Being struck by an object
  • Being caught in or between large objects

Wrongful Death Claims v. Survivor Actions

When you lose a loved one in an accident, you can either seek a wrongful death claim or a survivor action.

A wrongful death claim states that the deceased died as a result of the defendant's negligence, and that the loved ones of the deceased have suffered losses that the defendant should compensate the family members for. These losses could mean loss of financial support, the loss of emotional support, and general changes in quality of life.

A survivor claim states that had the deceased survived the fatal accident, he or she would seek compensation against the defendant for the pain and suffering that was experienced. The defendant should thus pay damages to the estate of the deceased.

Given the nature of these two claims, the survivor action can only collect based on pain and suffering of the deceased at the time of death, whereas the wrongful death claim would seek damages for pain and suffering of the surviving loved ones as well as lost wages that the deceased would have continued to have earned.

Types of Damages Sought in Wrongful Death Cases

In a wrongful death claim, it's typical to seek compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are damages that cover material losses associated with the loss of a loved one, such as funerary costs, lost wages, and loss of companionship.

Punitive damages are sought in addition to compensatory damages. The punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for what they have done and to deter future acts of negligence in the future.

How Our Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help You

Mourning a loved one and trying to move forward should be your primary concern after a fatal accident. The complexities of the litigation process can be frustrating and take their toll on your family. By working with a wrongful death lawyer, you will receive expert counsel through all phases of your case. The attorney can focus on the paperwork and grind of the legal process while you can achieve peace of mind and focus on what your future will hold.

Contact the Lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane

To learn more about your legal options following a fatal construction accident, it's important that you contact our team of accident attorneys today. The lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane will help you make the right choices when seeking justice.

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