Why Death on a Construction Site May Not Be an Accident

Q

Is accident the right word to use after a person dies on New York construction site?

A

There are two ways to look at what happened to a construction worker that was fatally injured on a Glen Cove, Long Beach, or other Long Island construction site. Absent evidence to the contrary, you may believe that nobody intended for the construction worker to die. The actions—or inactions—that led to his death were not deliberate, and because the death was not intentional, it may be described as an accident.

The Problem With the Word Accident

The incident may have been unintentional, but it may have also been preventable. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary¸ one definition of accident is "a sudden event (such as a crash) that is not planned or intended and that causes damage or injury," but an accident may also be defined as "an event that is not planned or intended: an event that occurs by chance."

Many construction accidents do not occur by chance. Rather, there are often regulations or easily identifiable things that can be done to prevent serious accidents and resulting fatalities. If these safety regulations had been followed then it is possible that the construction worker would not have died.

What This Means to Surviving Relatives and Coworkers

Surviving relatives may be able to recover damages for their incredible loss regardless of whether we call the incident an accident or something else. However, it is important for surviving construction workers to understand that it may have been no accident. The incident and resulting death might not have happened by chance—it may have been preventable.

If you’ve lost a loved one on a Long Island construction site, then it is important to know more about your rights and your possible recovery. Please fill out our online contact form today to find out more.