According to the most recent Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations report, fatal accidents in the workplace are becoming more common. It is known that certain industries put employees at an increased risk of injury or death, such as the construction industry, emergency first responders, and those who work in an industrial setting, but in this age of OSHA education and access to employee training, this is a surprising statistic.
Many of these deaths or serious workplace injuries are precluded from third party lawsuits and are, instead, limited only to what compensation one may obtain from a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, there are some circumstances when the injury was caused by a defective product, defectively designed machine or by the negligence of a third person or another outside party who was not an employee of the company. Those entities or individuals are not protected by Work Comp laws and may be subject to a civil lawsuit to pay for the damages they have caused. In those cases, claims may be brought against the third party to collect for the harms and losses caused by their negligence. Another common third-party claim is when an employee is riding in a car or truck and is involved in an accident on the roadway. While the employee still has a Workers’ Compensation claim as they were hurt on the job, they can also pursue a claim against the person who caused the accident. While we refer to these occurrences as “accidents,” many of the situations that take workers’ lives each day across our country are not actually mistakes, but incidents that could have been prevented by others who were negligent.
The latest report by the Missouri Department of Labor in 2017 indicated that there were 125 deadly workplace accidents in Missouri – this is up substantially over the years. Last year, almost 93% of workplace accidents resulting in death occurred in private industry (105). Over the past five years, the leading industry in which fatal workplace accidents have occurred is the transportation industry, including roadway, air, rail, and water accidents. More than half of these accidents have been roadway crashes involving motor vehicles. Coming in second in fatal workplace accidents are those caused by other individuals’ violence and exposure to animals. Many on-the-job automobile accidents cause serious injury or death, especially for highway or road workers.
The report also indicated that more than 60% of those who suffered fatal accidents in the course of performing their job duties were men, while 94% of those who suffered deadly accidents were men. 90 of the 113 individuals who lost their lives in workplace accidents in 2013 were non-Hispanic white workers.
One life lost on the job in Kansas City or any city in Missouri is one life too many. Family members who have lost a loved one due to a workplace accident caused by another’s negligence may wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit. While there are limitations to filing lawsuits against employers, an experienced wrongful death or personal injury attorney can help guide you through the complex maze. Our Kansas City injury and wrongful death lawyers realize that money cannot replace a loved one, but there are practical issues of daily living for which compensation may be due. The losses are not only emotionally traumatic, but also can be financially devastating to family members, especially if the deceased or seriously injured was the primary or sole income provider. For outstanding legal support and guidance, contact Griggs Injury Law, LLC today.