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Fatal Workplace Accidents

On a daily basis, more than 13 workers in the United States tragically lose their lives due to workplace accidents. A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that on average a total of 5,250 workers die annually while performing their job duties in recent years. If you’ve lost a family member in a fatal workplace accident, contact the legal team at The Doan Law Firm at (800) 349-0000 or reach out to us through our website.

Deadly Accidents Can Occur at Construction Sites

When looking at different industries, the construction industry stands out for its high number of fatal injuries, making it one of the most dangerous sectors to work in. Within the construction industry, there are four main causes of death, often referred to as the “Fatal Four.” These include falls, being struck by an object, electrocutions, and accidents where the worker gets caught in or between objects.

Key Factors Related to Workplace Accident Fatalities

Across all industries, transportation incidents lead to the largest number of fatal work injuries. These can be incidents involving vehicles, heavy machinery or even small equipment. Age is another factor that influences the risk of fatal injury at work. Workers aged 65 and over are shown to have the highest fatal injury rates, highlighting the importance of adequate safety measures for older employees.

Each year, a significant number of workers (over 600 on average) die due to falling to a lower level. Annually, about 300 workers lose their lives due to being fatally struck by an object or equipment. This could include anything from falling debris at a construction site to accidents involving machinery.

Out of all the industries, it was found that agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting had the highest fatal work injury rate in recent years. This statistic emphasizes the inherent risks in these sectors and the importance of safety regulations to protect workers.

Accidents that Result in Workplace Deaths

We dive deeper into the matter of workplace wrongful deaths. Fatal workplace accidents happen for a notable number of different reasons. There are some types of deadly workplace accidents that occur with a higher level of frequency than others. Indeed, there are a dozen types of workplace accidents that result in death:

  • Falls from a height
  • Falling objects
  • Slips, trips, or falls on the same level
  • Contact with heavy machinery or vehicles
  • Incidents involving power tools or other equipment
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments
  • Fires or explosions
  • Electrocution
  • Caught-in caught-between accidents
  • Overexertion or bodily reaction
  • Violence or injuries by animals
  • Workplace violence or accidents due to lack of appropriate safety measures

If your family has been impacted by any of these situations, our work injury attorney in Houston is prepared to fight for justice for your lost loved one.

Falls from a Height

This category of accidents refers to situations where a worker falls from an elevated location, such as a ladder, roof, or scaffold. The fall can be due to a variety of reasons including slippery surfaces, unstable structures, or lack of safety equipment. These accidents often result in severe injuries or fatalities due to the considerable height involved. The impact from such a fall can cause fractures, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and in some cases, death.

Falling Objects

These accidents occur when objects fall from a height and strike a worker below. This is predominantly common in construction and warehousing jobs, where materials and goods are often stored or moved at high levels. The type and weight of the falling object, as well as the height from which it falls, can significantly influence the severity of the injury. Consequences can range from bruises and fractures to concussions and other serious head injuries.

Slips, Trips, or Falls on the Same Level

These are accidents caused by slippery surfaces, cluttered walkways, or uneven flooring. They can occur in any workplace, and are often due to poor housekeeping or lack of attention to floor conditions. These incidents can lead to a range of injuries, from minor sprains to serious bone fractures. If the worker falls onto a hard surface or strikes an object during the fall, the injuries can be more severe.

Contact with Heavy Machinery or Vehicles

These are incidents where a worker is struck by or caught in heavy machinery or vehicles. Such accidents can occur in factories, warehouses, construction sites, and other places where large equipment is used. The power and size of these machines can cause devastating injuries or even death. Injuries can include crushed limbs, traumatic amputations, and severe internal injuries.

Incidents Involving Power Tools or Other Equipment

These accidents involve misuse or malfunction of power tools, leading to injury. They can occur when safety guidelines are not followed, or when equipment is not properly maintained or used. The injuries can range from minor cuts to life-threatening injuries, including deep lacerations, puncture wounds, eye injuries, burns, or electrocution.

Exposure to Harmful Substances or Environments

This refers to incidents where a worker is exposed to toxic chemicals, extreme temperatures, or harmful radiation. Workers in certain industries, such as manufacturing and mining, are particularly at risk. Prolonged or intense exposure can lead to serious health problems or fatal conditions, including respiratory diseases, cancer, skin disorders, and chemical burns.

Fires or Explosions

These accidents involve incidents where a fire or explosion occurs, causing injuries or fatalities. These can occur due to faulty electrical equipment, flammable materials, or poor handling of explosive materials. The sudden and destructive nature of these incidents often results in severe burns, injuries, or loss of life. The force of an explosion can also cause injuries due to the impact or from flying debris.


This refers to incidents where a worker comes into contact with live electrical wires or equipment, causing fatal injuries. This can happen in various industries, especially those involving electrical work. Electrocutions can cause immediate death or serious injuries that can be fatal if not treated immediately, such as severe burns, heart arrhythmia, and damage to internal organs.

Caught-in Caught-Between Accidents

These are incidents where a worker is trapped or crushed between two or more objects. This can occur in industries involving heavy machinery and equipment. The immense pressure exerted in such incidents can cause severe internal injuries or death. These injuries might involve crushed limbs, internal organ damage, or even suffocation if the worker’s breathing is restricted.

Overexertion or Bodily Reaction

This refers to injuries caused by lifting, pulling, pushing, or throwing objects, or injuries resulting from repetitive motion. Such injuries can occur in any industry but are especially common in manual labor jobs. Overexertion can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal disorders, including strains, sprains, and chronic conditions like arthritis, which can lead to long-term disability and ongoing pain.

Violence or Injuries by Animals

This refers to incidents where a worker is attacked or injured by an animal while on the job. This is particularly relevant for jobs involving animal handling, or jobs in rural or wilderness areas. These incidents can result in a variety of injuries, from bites and scratches to more serious wounds or fatal attacks. Depending on the animal involved, injuries can range from minor scratches to deep wounds, fractures, or severe allergic reactions.

Lack of Appropriate Safety Measures

These are incidents where a worker is harmed due to violence in the workplace, or due to the absence of necessary safety measures. This can occur in any workplace and are often due to inadequate security measures or poor work culture. Both physical and psychological harm can result from these incidents, ranging from minor injuries to fatalities. This could involve physical assault, harassment, intimidation, or other forms of violence, leading to physical injuries, psychological trauma, or even death.

Overview of a Texas Workplace Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death is a comprehensive legal term that refers to situations where someone is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, entity, or organization. This can happen under a variety of circumstances such as a car accident caused by a drunk driver, a fatal slip and fall due to unsafe property conditions, or even medical malpractice where a healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care resulting in death.

Who can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Texas?

In the state of Texas, the law provides specific guidelines on who can file a wrongful death claim. Only the spouse of the deceased person, their children, and their parents are allowed to file a wrongful death claim. This legislation is designed to protect these individuals who have the legal right to seek compensation for the traumatic loss of their loved one.

It’s important to note that the Texas law is very specific about who can and cannot file a Houston wrongful death claim. Siblings and grandparents, despite their potential emotional suffering and loss, are not permitted to file these claims. This is a critical point to remember when figuring out the potential claimants in a wrongful death case.

Time Limits for Filing a Texas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Texas law provides a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, for filing a wrongful death claim. It is typically two years from the date of death. This means that the eligible family members have a two-year window from the date of their loved one’s death to file a claim in a court of law.

Compensation in a Texas Workplace Wrongful Death Case

A wrongful death claim in Texas can result in various types of damages or compensation. These include lost earning capacity, which pertains to the money the deceased would have earned had they lived, mental anguish for the emotional suffering of the family members, and loss of companionship for the emotional value of the relationship with the deceased.

What Happens if a Worker has a Last Will and Testament?

There are also provisions for cases where the deceased person had a will. The executor or personal representative of the estate, typically designated in the will, also has the right to file a wrongful death claim. This person is responsible for handling the deceased’s affairs after their death and is allowed to seek justice on their behalf.

What are Punitive Damages in a Workplace Wrongful Death Case?

In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. Unlike other types of damages, these punitive damages are not meant to compensate the family for their loss. Instead, they serve a dual purpose: they are designed to punish the person responsible for the death and deter similar conduct in the future.

Speak to Our Experienced Attorney Today

Even if the deceased person is partially at fault for their death, it does not necessarily bar the family from recovering damages in a wrongful death suit. The specifics of each case play a crucial role in this. It’s possible for the family to receive compensation even if their loved one contributed to their own death, depending on the circumstances and the degree of their loved one’s fault.

Given the complexity of wrongful death cases and the intricacies of Texas law, it is highly recommended to contact a qualified wrongful death attorney, like a lawyer at The Doan Law Firm. Doan Law Firm wrongful death lawyers are equipped with the knowledge and experience to help you understand your rights, the potential remedies available to you, and guide you through the legal process to ensure that justice is served. You can connect with The Doan Law Firm any time of the day or night by calling us at (800) 349-0000. There is no cost for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm wrongful death lawyer.

The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee guarantee to you. Our firm will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.

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