Wrongful Death and Construction Accidents
The field of construction is inherently dangerous, and it is not unusual for workers to suffer job-related injuries. Unfortunately, construction accidents sometimes result in fatal injuries. If a death was the result of a preventable construction accident, or, in other words, if the death was caused by another person or party’s neglect, a wrongful death claim can be filed.
The wrongful death lawyers from G.R. Akin, P.C., in Longview, TX, assist surviving family members in holding liable parties accountable for damages related to a wrongful death involving a construction accident. Although no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, it is important to lessen certain financial burdens, and provide some degree of closure to descendants of the deceased.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
When a construction worker suffers on-the-job injuries and wants to hold liable parties accountable for resulting damages, they can file a personal injury claim through civil court. However, if a person dies as a result of their injuries, they cannot take legal action on their own behalf. Instead, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for damages suffered by the deceased, as well as their own personal losses.
Each state specifies who is able to file a wrongful death claim. Under Texas law, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the deceased’s surviving spouse, children, or parents. One of these people may file a claim individually, or one of them can file on behalf of all of them. If none of these people file a wrongful death claim within three months of the death, state law allows a claim to be filed by a personal representative, or executor, of the deceased’s estate.
Wrongful Death Damages
A wrongful death lawsuit allows descendants of the deceased to pursue compensation for damages suffered by the deceased, as well as their own losses related to the death. The specific damages awarded in each case varies, but potential areas of compensation include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering of the deceased (if the death was not immediate)
- Loss of income or benefits
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Emotional pain and suffering of the descendants
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim if I Received Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
When someone dies as a result of a construction accident, workers’ compensation often comes into play. Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy carried by employers to cover damages associated with work-place injuries. In addition to providing coverage for losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, workers’ comp may provide death benefits. It is important for family members to understand that they cannot file a wrongful death claim against the deceased’s employer if they accept death benefits from workers’ compensation.
When to Consider a Wrongful Death Claim
Accepting a settlement from workers’ compensation may be tempting. However, it is not always in the best interest of surviving family members to forfeit their right to a wrongful death claim. If a loved one died because of the negligence of their employer (or a third-party), a wrongful death claim may be the best way to hold liable parties accountable. Further, by filing a wrongful death claim, family members can often maximize compensation for wrongful death benefits. In a wrongful death lawsuit, our Longview clients can pursue compensation for damages not covered by workers’ compensation insurance, such as emotional pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
Get In Touch
If you have lost a loved one in a construction accident, the lawyers from G.R. Akin, P.C., can help you consider whether you have grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit. To schedule a personal consultation with our legal team, send us a message online or call our Longview law firm at (903) 297-8929.