Injury and death are two unfortunate (and, for the latter, inevitable) occurrences in life.  However, they should not have to happen as a result of someone simply trying to earn a living.  Unfortunately, they do happen and can end the lives of workers while devastating the lives of the workers’ families.

In 2011, about 4609 Americans died due to fatal work injuries, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program. There are some occupations that are riskier than others with regard to injury; however, the effort to provide livelihood for an individual and their family should never have to cost the individual his or her life. Hence, it is essential for these workers and their families to know the options they have available to them if a tragedy strikes.

As previously mentioned, some occupations are clearly more prone to risk than others.  Alarmingly, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of fatalities in private truck transportation rose 14% in 2011, making it the second year for which fatalities in this particular industry has risen. The specific occupation that entails the highest number of fatalities is motor vehicle operators as 851 motor vehicle operators lost their lives in 2011 mostly due to accidents that occurred on roadways. Work-related fatalities in the trade, transportation and utilities industry accounted for approximately 27% of all-work related fatalities in 2011 with 1227 deaths in the industry. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries also determined that fatal work injuries increased by 18% of workers in the 20 to 24 age group where 288 people in this age group lost their lives in 2011 and that the number of women being affected by work-related fatalities is also rising.

These statistics emphasize that there is a need to address the concerns on the safety and well-being of motor vehicle operators as they are overwhelmingly more prone to injury and death when carrying out their duties. The difficulty in this type of occupation is due to the various factors that a driver must account for while performing their job; not only are they tasked with having to stay alert while transporting heavy materials, but they must also deal with driving in precarious conditions and with other drivers on the road whose actions cannot be controlled. In short, two consecutive years of increase for fatalities in private truck transportation is undoubtedly worrying for those who work or know someone working in this industry.

At the end of the day, your life is not worth your job. Unfortunately, accidents do happen so it is essential that individuals that work in the trade, transportation and utilities industry and other high-risk industries are prepared and know what their options are.  Get in touch with Kaplan Morrell’s experienced attorneys who can provide you and your family with the information that you need and deserve.