CBS12 in West Palm Beach reported that a construction worker died after falling 15 stores in downtown West Palm Beach. The man, an employee for a concrete construction company, was working on the 15th floor of the new apartment building, Alexander Building, located on Fern Street near South Dixie Highway. An attorney for the family told CBS12 that the harness the man was wearing broke. He leaves behind a wife and 4-year old daughter.

OSHA is investigating the workplace accident. The general contractor is under investigation for allegedly having a role in the collapse of part of the brick façade on another building earlier this year. The CEO for the general contractor called the accident an “unfortunate tragedy.”

Workplace Fatalities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,821 workers died in workplace injuries during 2014. This was the highest annual number of workplace fatalities since 2008. Almost three million employees were injured in workplace accidents during 2014. When an employee is injured in a workplace accident or an employee develops an illness or disease related to his or her job, Florida’s workers’ compensation system provides benefits to assist the worker, including medical benefits and partial compensation for lost wages.

When a worker dies while performing his or her job duties, his or her survivors may be entitled to receive benefits under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. However, compensation for workplace fatalities is limited by law. Family members are not entitled to receive compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional pain, mental anguish, and loss of love, support, guidance. Under workers’ comp laws, the worker’s lost income is not fully replaced.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family may be entitled to receive full compensation, including all future lost wages and non-economic damages. Family members are not permitted to sue employers except under very limited circumstances; however, there are situations when the family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit outside of the workers’ compensation system. In addition, if a third party is responsible for circumstances that led to the workers’ death, the family can pursue a wrongful death claim against the third party.

Third parties are not protected by workers’ compensation laws for workplace fatalities. For example, if an employee is killed because of a defective product, the family may have a cause of action against the manufacturer of the defective product. This action would be in addition to the workers’ compensation claim.

Contact a Boca Raton Workers’ Comp Attorney for More Information About Workplace Fatalities

Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits should be a straightforward process. However, insurance companies and employers sometimes fail to follow workers’ comp laws. By obtaining legal counsel, you ensure you have someone who will stand up for your rights and who understands Florida’s workers’ comp laws.

Furthermore, you may have an action against a third party. Our Boca Raton workers’ comp attorneys perform a thorough investigation to determine the best course of action to maximize your benefits for workplace fatalities.

Contact The Broderick Law Firm, P.L. by calling 1-800-333-3903 to speak with an attorney.