Wrongful Death At Work: Understanding Your Legal Options
The number of workers who are injured on the job each year is higher than most people would imagine. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 2.8 cases of non-fatal workplace injuries for every 100 full-time workers in 2019. They further report 5,333 deaths from work-related injuries.
When someone dies from work-related injuries, surviving loved ones suffer the emotional and financial consequences. If an employee is a victim of wrongful death at work, their dependents have the right to pursue financial compensation for damages.
Wrongful death lawyers at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC can help individuals in Oklahoma City, OK, and surrounding areas understand their legal options when a family member has died as the result of a work-place accident.
Workers’ Compensation and Wrongful Death
Employers are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance on their employees. Workers’ compensation provides employees with benefits in the event that a workplace accident occurs or they suffer an injury related to job duties. In addition, most workers’ compensation policies offer a death benefit to the employee’s dependents (such as the worker’s spouse and/or children) if work-related injuries are the cause of death.
Policy specifics may vary slightly, but in most cases workers’ compensation insurance provides family members with benefits to cover funeral costs, as well as weekly death benefits that cover approximately two-thirds of the deceased’s salary.
When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The death benefits provided by workers’ compensation can be helpful, but they are limited. To recover compensation for the full extent of wrongful death damages, including those that are non-economic, family members may want to consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance protects employers from being sued for work-related injuries or death, even if an unsafe work environment was to blame. However, that doesn’t mean that loved ones are without options.
If a workplace accident was caused by a third-party, dependents can file a claim against them for wrongful death damages. Liable parties may include a general contractor, a sub-contractor, or the manufacturer of a faulty piece of equipment.
Our Oklahoma City lawyers investigate the cause of a workplace death to determine if surviving loved ones have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Recoverable Wrongful Death Damages
While workers’ compensation benefits are limited to a portion of economic losses, wrongful death damages are more extensive, and may also include non-economic losses. Our wrongful death lawyers work hard to get our Oklahoma City clients compensation for the full extent of damages, which may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of income and/or benefits
- Loss of consortium (the loss of companionship/emotional support)
- Medical expenses for any injuries related to the death
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
- Punitive damages (which serve as punishment to the defendant)
Contact Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one as the result of a workplace accident, the wrongful death lawyers at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC can help you explore your right to financial compensation. To discuss the details of your case, contact our law firm online, or call (405) 607-1400 to schedule a consultation.