It only takes a minute for a workplace accident to occur. In the blink of an eye, something can go terribly wrong. When the workplace is a construction site an accident can mean serious injuries or worse. In a recent New York construction accident, a 24-year-old construction worker was killed.

In this case, the man was working on a construction site and helping to unload pipes from a flat bed truck. The large pipes weighed around 1,700 pounds and were 40 feet wide and 12 inches in diameter. As the man held a steel cable used to hoist the pipe from the truck, something went wrong. It has been reported that the pipe shifted somehow causing one of the hooks and the cable it was lifted up by to slip off. Without the cable and hook attached, the pipe fell eight feet and landed on the man.

The pipe pinned the man to the ground. A short while later, other workers and rescue personnel were able to free the man. He was transported to a hospital in Saratoga but, sadly, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

When a construction accident kills a worker, like in this case, that worker’s family has a couple legal options. One, the family can apply for workers’ compensation. Under workers’ compensation a death benefit could be provided to help cover lost wages, medical expenses and other expenses relating to the worker’s death. Two, the family may consider a wrongful death suit. A wrongful death suit would try and hold a negligent party responsible for the worker’s death and could provide compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and other expenses.

These legal options should both be considered following the death of a construction worker. Families deserve these benefits and shouldn’t hesitate to assert their rights following a workplace accident.

Source: Irish Central, “Tragic New York construction accident claims life of young Irishman from Sligo,” James O’Shea, April 15, 2013