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Wrongful Death and the Recycling Industry

Pile of trash at Recycling processing facility along shore of Oakland Harbor, California during the day.

Dealing with the injury or loss of a loved is emotionally trying. This hardship is never worse than in a wrongful death case. With workplace fatalities on the rise in the U.S., it’s never been more important to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney when someone you love has died due to the negligence of someone else.

Recycling Industry Death and Injury Rates

The waste management industry is one of the most dangerous in the country for its workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, in 2014 alone, 27 people died on the job while collecting refuse and recyclable material. That translates to a rate of 35.8 deaths per 100,000 full-time waste and recycled material collectors each year. It also ranks waste and recycling management as the fifth highest in fatal work injury rates among all civil occupation industries.

Solid data on fatalities across all recycling sectors is hard to come by. At scrapyards and sorting plants, at least 313 workers died on the job from 2003 to 2014. In 2014, that sector saw a fatality rate of 20.8 deaths per 100,000 workers. However, fatalities are not the only concern. Injury rates in the recycling industry are also higher than in most workplaces.

According to the California government, there are 1,810 recycling centers in the state of California. Drop-off centers where recycled bottles, cans, and plastic containers are sorted are particularly prevalent in Southern California. These centers have come under investigation for paying their employees very low wages to work in substandard working conditions. These environments are ripe for workplace injuries, as they handle dangerous and varying materials each day. A June 2015 study by environmental, occupational safety, and community benefits experts found that workers in the recycling industry were more than twice as likely as the average worker to be injured on the job.

Most injuries and fatalities happen through no fault of the worker. In fact, the National Waste & Recycling Association has acknowledged that most of the industry’s fatalities could have been prevented. That’s even more reason to hold the negligent parties responsible.

How an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help

The family members of those who suffer injuries or fatalities at recycling and waste centers are entitled to compensation just like employees of any other workplace. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to bring a wrongful death suit is the only way to ensure that you will receive the maximum recovery possible.

Dealing with insurance companies that are seeking to deny your claims and pay you the least amount of compensation possible can be frustrating and confusing. It’s not something you should attempt alone, especially while grieving the loss of a loved one. In these cases, experience is of the utmost importance. Don’t trust your case to just any personal injury attorney – only an experienced wrongful death attorney will be familiar with the ins and outs of handling a wrongful death case and fighting to get you the maximum compensation available.

The Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz has been successfully helping the family members of those who have lost their lives on the job for over 30 years. We will handle your wrongful death case every step of the way, conducting a thorough investigation and providing you with the answers you’re seeking.

If you or someone you know has lost a loved one in a recycling industry workplace or has been injured while performing a recycling job, contact us now. For a consultation with a Pasadena wrongful death attorney, complete the form at the right of this article or call (877) 261-9322 today.

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