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Seattle Worksite Accident Kills Man

Blogs from September, 2021

The last day of summer was also the last day of a man’s life. On Sept. 20, a man was killed in what police are describing as an industrial accident at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. He was among those working on the construction of an expansion to the center.

At the time of this writing, authorities have not released information about what caused the accidents, but some reports suggest that equipment on an upper level fell on the man. We do know he was a member of Cement Masons Local 528.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries will take the lead in investigating the death because it was a workplace incident.

This death comes only about three months after another construction-site fatality. A man was reportedly pinned between an 11,000-pound beam and flatbed trailer of a semi-truck while working on the Highway 520 Montlake Project. Another man died on that same project in 2015 when his safety-harness cable broke.

Worksites Can Be Dangerous Places

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 5,333 deaths from workplace injuries in 2019. That represents a 2% increase over the previous year and equating to a worker dying every 99 minutes. Construction accidents have increased by 5%.

Workplace deaths occur in the following order:

  1. Transportation Incidents
  2. Falls, Slips, Trips
  3. Violence
  4. Contact with Objects/Equipment
  5. Exposure to Harmful Substances/Environment
  6. Fires and Explosions

In Washington, 84 people died as a result of workplace injuries in 2019. Most died in transportation-related accidents, followed in order by violence, slips/falls/trips, contact with objects/equipment, and exposure to harmful substances/environment. Another 106,000 nonfatal injuries occurred here in the Evergreen State.

At Dore Law Group, PLLC, we focus on personal injury cases where we fight for fair and just compensation for our clients. We are unafraid to take on insurance companies and large employers to seek the maximum possible for injuries, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful deaths.

Holding Workplaces Accountable

Like incidents outside of the workplace, an accident is sometimes just that with no one at fault. Other times, employers bear responsibility. Improperly maintained equipment, inadequate training, and neglecting safety precautions are among the reasons employers can be held liable.

Workplace Injuries

Every Washington employer with one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation pays for reasonable medical care as well as a percentage of your wages in cases of temporary disability. Workers’ compensation does limit your ability to sue for damages related to your injury. If an injury was caused by faulty equipment manufactured by a third party, you may have a personal injury claim against the manufacturer. A lawsuit might also be possible in cases of gross negligence.

Workers’ compensation covers some medical bills, but potential damages awarded in a lawsuit can more aptly cover out-of-pocket expenses and pain and suffering.

Workplace Fatalities

Like workplace injuries, workers’ compensation laws narrow the ability to sue an employer – even when a death occurs. If willful negligence can be proven, there may be grounds for a lawsuit to compensate loved ones more fully for their loss. Another possible lawsuit might be against a third party, including manufacturers of equipment that failed.

A wrongful death lawsuit aims to compensate for the emotional and financial devastation felt by the family of the deceased.

Deadline to File a Lawsuit

States have laws that limit the timeframe in which someone can file a personal injury lawsuit after an accident. In Washington, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Other Personal Injury Cases

Our team at Dore Law Group, PLLC has handled a wide range of personal injury cases.

Our experience includes the following:

Experience Can Make the Difference

Injuries and deaths at a worksite require specific and thorough knowledge of personal injury and workers’ compensation laws. Our founder, Attorney Jim Dore Jr., is an aggressive litigator with more than 30 years of experience. He is dedicated to representing clients who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in accidents negligently caused by others.

Don’t settle for what insurance or employers offer without first talking to us.

We offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Learn more about how we can help you by calling (253) 236-3888 or using our online form.