At Sternberg | Forsythe, PA, our law firm is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have lost a loved one due to fatal workplace injuries. With over 25 years of experience, the firm has a proven track record of securing compensation and justice for those impacted by these tragic events.
Workplace injuries can occur in any industry, from construction and manufacturing to healthcare and transportation. Unfortunately, some of these injuries can be fatal, leaving families devastated and struggling to cope with losing their loved ones. In these cases, having an experienced legal team is crucial to navigating the complex legal system and holding responsible parties accountable.
Our attorneys understand the emotional and financial toll a fatal workplace injury can have on families. The firm’s attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized legal representation to help clients obtain the compensation and closure they deserve. Whether through negotiation or litigation, we are committed to fighting for justice on behalf of our clients.
Statistics for Fatal Workplace Injuries in Florida
According to the latest data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the year 2020, there were 309 fatal workplace injuries in Florida, an increase of 15.4% from the previous year. The fatality rate in Florida was 3.7 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers’, slightly higher than the national average of 3.6.
The leading causes of fatal workplace injuries in Florida were transportation incidents, which accounted for 39% of all fatalities. The second leading cause was falls, slips, and trips, which accounted for 19% of fatalities. Other causes included violence and injuries by persons or animals, contact with objects and equipment, and exposure to harmful substances or environments.
The industries with the highest fatal injuries in Florida were construction, transportation and warehousing, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. Construction had the highest fatalities, with 71 deaths, a 42% increase from the previous year.
These statistics highlight the importance of ensuring workplace safety and employers’ need to protect their workers’ from hazards and accidents. If a fatal workplace injury has impacted you or a loved one in Florida, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation.
Common Causes of Fatal Workplace Accidents in Florida
Fatal workplace accidents can occur in any industry and have devastating consequences for the victim’s family and loved ones. The most common causes of fatal workplace accidents in Florida include the following:
- Transportation incidents: This is Florida’s leading cause of fatal workplace accidents, accounting for 39% of all fatalities. It includes accidents involving motor vehicles, aircraft, and other types of transportation.
- Falls, slips, and trips: This is Florida’s second leading cause of fatal workplace accidents, accounting for 19% of all fatalities. It includes falls from heights, slips on wet or slippery surfaces, and trips over objects.
- Contact with objects and equipment: This includes accidents involving machinery, tools, and other objects in the workplace. It accounts for 15% of all fatal workplace accidents in Florida.
- Violence and other injuries by persons or animals: This includes workplace violence, such as assaults and homicides, and injuries caused by animals in the workplace. It accounts for 12% of all fatal workplace accidents in Florida.
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments: This includes accidents involving exposure to toxic chemicals, gases, and other harmful substances, as well as accidents in confined spaces or other hazardous environments. It accounts for 11% of all fatal workplace accidents in Florida.
Employers must take steps to prevent workplace accidents and injuries, such as implementing safety protocols, providing proper training, and ensuring that equipment and machinery are properly maintained.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Fatal Accidents
In Florida, workers’ compensation benefits are available to the surviving family members of employees who died due to a workplace accident or occupational disease. These benefits can help support the family financially during a difficult time.
The following are some of the benefits that may be available through workers’ compensation for fatal workplace accidents in Florida:
- Death benefits: Surviving family members may be eligible to receive death benefits, which provide financial support to help cover expenses related to the funeral and burial of the deceased worker. The amount of the benefit is typically a percentage of the workers’ average weekly wage.
- Wage replacement benefits: Surviving family members may also be eligible to receive wage replacement benefits, which provide financial support to help cover the loss of the deceased workers’ income. The amount of the benefit is typically a percentage of the workers’ average weekly wage.
- Medical benefits: Surviving family members may also be eligible for medical benefits to cover the cost of medical treatment related to the workplace accident or illness that caused the workers’ death.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits: If the surviving family members depend on the deceased worker for financial support and cannot find employment due to the workers’ death, they may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits to help them learn new skills and find new employment.
It is important to note that workers’ compensation benefits can vary depending on the case’s specific circumstances.
Third-Party Liability in Fatal Workplace Accidents
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, surviving family members of an employee who died in a workplace accident in Florida may also pursue a third-party liability claim against a party other than the employer or co-workers’ who may have contributed to the accident.
Some examples of third-party liability in fatal workplace accidents in Florida may include:
- Negligence of a third-party contractor: If a third-party contractor, such as a subcontractor, vendor, or supplier, was responsible for the accident, the surviving family members may be able to pursue a claim against them for damages.
- Defective product: If a defective product or equipment was responsible for the accident, the surviving family members might be able to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the product.
- Negligent driver: If the accident involved a motor vehicle, the surviving family members could pursue a claim against the vehicle’s driver if their negligence contributed to the accident.
- Property owner negligence: If the accident occurred on property owned or maintained by a third party, the surviving family members might be able to pursue a claim against the property owner if their negligence contributed to the accident.
It is important to note that pursuing a third-party liability claim can be complex, and it may require a thorough investigation to identify all responsible parties.
Our Legal Team Will Help Protect Your Rights to Benefits After a Fatal Workplace Accident
Losing a loved one in a fatal workplace accident is a traumatic experience. It can be overwhelming to navigate the complex legal system and secure the benefits and compensation you and your family deserve. At our law firm, we understand the emotional and financial toll that a fatal workplace accident can have on families. We are dedicated to helping our clients protect their rights and obtain the benefits they are entitled to.
Our experienced legal team deeply understands Florida’s workers’ compensation system and third-party liability claims. We can help you file a claim for death benefits, wage replacement benefits, medical benefits, and other benefits available through workers’ compensation. We can also investigate the accident’s circumstances and pursue a third-party liability claim against responsible parties who may have contributed to the accident.
We are committed to providing compassionate, personalized legal representation to our clients. We will work closely with you to understand your situation and develop a strategy to help you obtain the compensation and closure you deserve.
If you have lost a loved one in a fatal workplace accident in Florida, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our experienced legal team and learn more about your legal options.