Firm News & Blog

Are workplace fatalities increasing?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2021 | Workers' Compensation Blog Post |

Whether you are a construction worker, or you work in an office, you could face many hazards in the workplace. Unfortunately, some of these risks could lead to a fatal accident, resulting in a wide range of hardships for the families of victims.

Regrettably, many of these accidents are preventable or occur because of carelessness, negligence, or inadequate training.

Statistics on deadly workplace accidents

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of fatal workplace accidents increased in 2019 when compared to 2018. In fact, data from 2019 shows that more workers lost their lives on the job than in any other year since 2007. In 2019, 5,333 workers died in job-related accidents, while 5,250 lost their lives over the course of 2018. This represents a 2-percent increase. In fact, people died in work-related accidents every 99 minutes, according to these statistics.

Addressing a fatal workplace accident

If your loved one died as the result of a job-related accident, you should contact a workers compensation attorney to explore the benefits that you or your family might be entitled to as a result of that accident.  While no amount of money can replace a loved one who is lost in such an accident, these benefits can provide financial security for the family while they adapt to their new circumstances.  In Virginia, the Workers Compensation Act provides several types of benefits to the family of an employee whose fatal accident is deemed compensable. Benefits can include payment of funeral expenses (up to $10,000) and weekly wage benefits payable to both the spouse and any remaining children (under the age of 23) for a period of 500 weeks.

Willful misconduct defense

Often, when a fatal accident occurs, insurance companies will raise a willful misconduct defense under Code Section 65.2-306 based on a safety rule violation. This defense is often raised in large and catastrophic loss cases. It is imperative to seek the advice on an attorney who has prior experience with this type of defense as early investigation can often reveal facts and information helpful in representing injured workers or their families.