I Lost A Loved One Due to a Work Injury: Can I Sue Their Employer?
Workplace accidents are a daily occurrence across the United States. Any line of work can cause injuries, but some fields, such as construction and oil, are inherently more dangerous. While many workers recover from their injuries, others are fatal.
Individuals who lose a loved one to a workplace injury may wonder if they can sue their loved one’s employer. While no amount of compensation can make up for the devastation of a loved one’s death, it may ease financial hardships and provide a degree of closure. The wrongful death lawyers at G.R. Akin, P.C. in Longview, TX, help people consider their legal options after losing a loved one to a work injury.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
All employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job. If work injuries are fatal, workers’ compensation provides death benefits to the deceased’s dependents.
Workers’ compensation death benefits are typically paid to the deceased’s spouse or children. Workers’ comp benefits usually cover the cost of burial expenses. Additionally, workers’ compensation may provide financial benefits. Dependents may receive 75 percent of the deceased’s average weekly wage, although there are maximum and minimum benefit limits.
Can I Sue My Loved One’s Employer?
Worker’s compensation death benefits are helpful, but they do not account for a family’s full extent of losses after a loved one’s death. Surviving family members often consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue compensation for additional losses, such as loss of consortium (loss of companionship) and pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, many people do not realize that workers’ comp insurance does not only protect employees and their loved ones. Employers are also protected by workers’ comp insurance. When a workers’ compensation claim is filed, workers (or their dependents) lose the right to file a lawsuit against their employer. Even if an employer violated OSHA standards or acted negligently to create an unsafe work environment, it is nearly impossible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer because of workers’ compensation protections.
When to Consider a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Even though employers are often protected from a wrongful death lawsuit, that doesn’t mean a claim cannot be filed when a loved one dies from work injuries. Often, there are third parties who are liable for workplace accidents.
Depending on the circumstances of the work injury, loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against a general contractor, a subcontractor, the property owner where the accident occurred, or an equipment or parts manufacturer. Our lawyers can explore the details of a workplace accident and advise clients on whether or not it is appropriate to consider a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Our Law Firm
The loss of a loved one is never easy. When a death is unexpected, it can be particularly devastating for surviving loved ones. The lawyers at G.R. Akin, P.C. work hard to pursue compensation for wrongful death losses and ease our clients’ financial hardships. If you have questions about your legal options after a loved one’s death, we would be happy to provide you with valuable answers. To schedule a consultation, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience.