According to KSAT.com, a 66 year old man was killed in a construction accident while he was working on a highway repaving job near Poth, Texas. It’s still unclear exactly what led to the tragic accident, but apparently the incident involved heavy industrial equipment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be investigating the accident. It’s reported that the contractor, Dean Word Company, has been cited by OSHA for safety violations in the past. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) had no comment on the accident at this time. If you’ve suffered through the tragedy of a loved one being killed in a construction accident, an attorney experienced in Texas wrongful death claims will help you get justice.
Wrongful Death in A Construction Accident
Construction workers face some of the highest rates of on-the-jobs fatalities of any profession. It is a dangerous job and employees are owed safe working conditions. There are generally two types of legal claims that one can make if a loved one dies in a construction accident.
- Survival action
- Wrongful death action
The Texas code allows a survival action to be brought in cases where the deceased person would have been able to bring a personal injury case had they lived. It allows their case to ‘survive’ even though they unfortunately have lost their lives. Their heirs will be able to seek justice in their name. A wrongful death claim is brought by the spouse, parents, or children of the deceased and is based on the damage that the death caused to the person bringing the wrongful death claim. For example, the pain and suffering a spouse goes through is part of a wrongful death action. In many cases both actions can, and should, be brought at the same time. Essentially survival action ensures that you can get the compensation rightfully owed to your loved one and wrongful death ensures that you can get the compensation rightfully owed to you for the damage a loved one’s death has caused you.
Worker’s Compensation in Wrongful Death Case
It’s very important to to remember the role that worker’s compensation plays in on-the-job injuries in Texas. Under Texas law, worker’s compensation is a common remedy (but not the only one) for an injured worker to recover damages against their employer. However, in a wrongful death case, section 408.001(b) of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act expressly lays out that this does not bar recovery of punitive damages by a deceased employee’s surviving spouse or children. This means that one may sue a deceased loved one’s employer for the negligence that led to their death on the job. This is on top of any third parties that also may be responsible for the individual’s wrongful death. This could include construction site owners, equipments manufacturers, other contractors or subcontractors on the site, non-employee drivers, or any other negligent third party on the job site.
If your family member or loved one lost his or her life in a work related accident, please do not hesitate to contact our office today. At the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, we are experienced in handling wrongful death cases and know how to protect your legal rights. It’s time for you to focus on your family, let us handle the rest.