Can Any Relative Bring A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

First of all, we are very sorry for your loss.

No one expects they will be killed when they go to work that day, but sadly, workplace deaths happen in Alabama.

Whether in the transportation industry, from a fall, a toxic exposure, electrocution, or being crushed on the job, in Alabama, if the death occurred on-the-job, the survivors of the deceased will be entitled to death benefits to help them in the future.

With the help of an experienced personal injury law firm, a claim may be filed on behalf of the surviving family members including the spouse, children, parents, and siblings.  

Fatal Work Injuries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 89 workplace deaths in Alabama in 2018. That is an increase from the 83 workplace deaths the previous year but a decrease from the100 deaths seen in 2016.

Nationwide, there were 5,250 fatal work injuries in 2018.

Where did the most deaths occur?  In Alabama, those working in the transportation industry recorded the most fatal work injuries (34). This would include heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and material moving workers. Other accidents resulting in death occurred due to falls, slips and trips (18 deaths).

Alabama saw a higher number of violence in the workplace (by persons or animals) than nationally (19 to 16 incidents).

The private construction industry experienced the highest number of deaths in the Alabama workplace (22 deaths).

Most of those killed were men and workers ages 25 to 54 who accounted for 63 percent of Alabama’s workplace fatalities.

Nationwide, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified four different types of workplace hazards that lead to deaths. They include falls, electrocutions, being struck by a heavy object, or being crushed.

If there was an emphasis on safety in the workplace, most of these deaths could have been prevented.

Workplace Death Benefits

Employees in Alabama are covered in the workplace by the employer’s workers’ compensation policy, assuming the business had five or more employees. The accident must have occurred during the course of employment, and the employer must be notified.

Under workers’ compensation, dependents who relied on the deceased worker can be compensated. They may receive death benefits over 500 weeks or a lump sum payment. Under a death claim and Alabama law, the amount paid is determined by averaging the weekly salary, multiplying it by 50% for one dependent and 66/2/3 % for two or more dependents.  

If there are no dependents, the employer is required to pay a one-time lump sum of $7,500 and funeral expenses are also available.

Workers’ comp is one avenue for compensation, but if your loved one’s death is the direct result of a workplace accident, the employer may share in responsibility for compensation.

Our lawyers will determine the safety practices that may have been violated that contributed to the accident. We will have to identify whether or not there was negligence in the workplace or whether safety precautions were put into place.

Negligence may involve:

  • Violations in safety equipment
  • Toxic exposure safety clothing
  • Machinery guards
  • Electrical violations
  • Proper fall equipment
  • Uneven loaded tractor trailers
  • Unsafe scaffolding

There may also be an at-fault third party whose action led to the death. Under Alabama law, we may be able to file a third-party personal injury claim against the responsible and negligent party.

Once the facts of the case are determined, our lawyers will determine the best course for you to follow to receive compensation in civil court by filing a wrongful death action.

Your Alabama Workplace Accident Attorney

The compassionate attorneys at the Cochran Firm – Birmingham understand that negligence can happen in the workplace, and we will work to offer compassion and an understanding of the law during this difficult time.  

While no amount of money will compensate you for the loss of a family member, it may help make bill paying easier and allow you to move forward and take care of your family.  

the Cochran Firm – Birmingham has the workplace accident experience to help advocate on your behalf. Call us at (205) 994-8555 so we can begin the conversation.   

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