The family of a New Jersey construction worker who died nearly four years ago after falling from a forklift will receive $2 million after a settlement was reached in February. The 21-year-old man fell 20 feet to his death while working at a luxury event center in Pompton Plains.

His death exemplifies the dangers faced by construction workers. Not only that, working for an employer who disregards safety guidelines also proves to be a job hazard. Negligence falls on an employer who fails to train its workers, fails to provide proper safety equipment, and makes revenue a priority over safety.

Wrongful death cases can arise in many situations

Wrongful death lawsuits can surface in a number of situations such as motor vehicle accidents, defective consumer product cases, medical malpractice and workplace accidents.

The 1,008 construction industry deaths in 2018 accounted for 21 percent of the total number of work fatalities that year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupations Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Nearly 60 percent of construction workers deaths are attributed to these four areas:

  • Falls: which accounted for 338 or 33.5% of construction deaths
  • Struck by objects: which accounted for 112 or 11.1% percent
  • Electrocutions: which accounted for 86 deaths or 8.5%
  • Caught-in/between: which accounted for 55 deaths or 5.5%

Sadly, work-related deaths continue to occur. Families of survivors need time to grieve and sometimes may never get over the death of a loved one. The legal victories and settlements they received can never replace a person who died. But that money can go a long way in paying for medical expenses, funeral expenses, mental anguish and lost income.