Falls and Wrongful Death
If you’ve lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For people in the Kirkland, WA area who’v suffered such a tragedy, attorneys Matthew Quick and Elizabeth M. Quick are here to help.
Fatal accidents have numerous causes, from medical errors and motor vehicle collisions to physical assaults and the use of defective products. We need to also consider the harm caused by major falls. Whether they occur at a business or on a worksite, you have legal options with considering.
Statistics on Falls and Their Dangers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1 in 4 adults age 65 and older suffers a serious fall each year. Annually, the CDC estimates 29 million serious falls that lead to 3 million emergency room visits, 800,000 hospitalizations, and 28,000 fatalities.
In addition to the risk of serious falls in the general population, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that falls are a leading cause of death among construction workers. In 2017, 39.2 percent of all deaths in construction were the result of falls. Falls top the so-called “Fatal Four” when it comes to construction deaths.
Common Causes for Serious Falls
Fatal and serious falls have a number of different causes. This may include any of the following:
- Slippery Floors and Surfaces - When floors are wet or when there is poor traction on surfaces, slips and serious falls are more likely. This is why it’s important to keep floors clean and dry.
- Lack of Bannisters or Guard Rails - Stairs and ledges should have guardrails and bannisters in place so people can prevent falling over. Having a rail for stability can make all the difference when it comes to preventing potentially fatal falls.
- Unsafe Working Conditions - Poor working conditions and unsafe worksites can make fatal accidents more likely. This could be anything from a lack of safety lines to poor placement of equipment and materials, making falls more likely.
- Bad Weather - Working in wet weather or high winds can make falls and other kinds of accidents more likely. Even in non-work settings, wet floors and steps are a common hazard following rain or snowfall.
Our Kirkland attorneys have noted that falls can also occur for a multitude of other reasons not listed, but the above are common causes of severe falls.
Who Is Liable for the Death of Your Loved One?
If a fall led to the death of a loved one, the property owner or the company running the worksite may be liable for their death. This depends on the nature of the fatal accident, as multiple factors could be involved.
Our attorneys can analyze the nature of the incident and help you understand who was at fault and whether or not you have a wrongful death case worth pursuing.
Legal Damages in Fatal Fall Lawsuits
During a wrongful death lawsuit, both compensatory damages and punitive damages may be sought.
Compensatory damages cover financial and material losses associated with a loved one’s death. That means anything from funerary costs, the lost wages from your loved one, loss of companionship, emotional pain and suffering, and so forth.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party who caused your loved one’s death. These damages are not linked to any material losses, so calculating these damages will depend on the nature of the fatal fall and the evidence presented during trial.
Contact Our Law Firm
To learn more about your legal options following a serious fall, be sure to contact our team of injury accident lawyers. You can reach Quick Law Group, PLLC in Kirkland by phone at (425) 576-8150.