Filing a Claim for the Loss of a Loved One
When you say “goodbye” in the morning, you expect that you’ll see your loved one after work. You don’t expect that your conversation about who is picking up the children is the last time you’ll ever talk. What if your loved one never comes home?
Each year, almost 6,000 Americans don’t come home because of workplace accidents. Each death is a tragedy. The loss of a father, mother or spouse leaves a hole in each family member’s heart. If the loved one is also responsible for the financial support of the family, the loss can have dire consequences. The family may struggle to make ends meet.
Causes of on-the-job fatalities:
- Car and truck accidents
- Slips and falls
- Falling objects
- Machinery and equipment accidents
- Defective tools
- Electrical accidents
- Fires or explosions
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Workplace violence
- Lack of security
- Safety violations
- Lack of safety equipment
- Building code violations
Your Family Shouldn’t Struggle
By law, a family cannot sue an employer for the wrongful death of their loved one. But, a family can claim workers’ compensation death benefits. These benefits cover medical and funeral expenses and a portion of the worker’s salary. However, workers’ compensation can’t make up for the loss of loved one and a death that should never have happened. And, workers’ compensation benefits may not be enough to cover all your family’s needs.
Third-Party Lawsuits for Workplace Deaths
You can’t sue your loved one’s employer, but you may have other options. When a worker dies because of negligence or a dangerous condition, a third-party may be liable for the death. If your loved one died in a workplace car accident, the other driver may be at fault. If he was injured by a defective tool, the manufacturer of the tool may be to be blame. If she worked at a construction site, the accident may be the fault of another contractor. A family has the right to file a wrongful death claim when someone other than the employer is responsible for a workplace death.
Wrongful death is a legal term used when a death is caused by a negligent, careless, or reckless behavior. A wrongful death claim can be filed against an individual or a business. While compensation is available for medical and burial expenses, damages from a wrongful death claim go well beyond workers’ compensation benefits. A family may recover damages for the loss of financial support and benefits provided by the deceased. The family may also receive compensation for the loss of companionship and emotional distress. And, in some cases, a family can receive punitive damages – a monetary award designed to punish the responsible party for negligent behavior.
If you have lost a loved one to a workplace accident, we urge you to contact Ostroff Law. Our attorneys will investigate the death at no cost to you. We’ll let you know exactly what happened and who is at fault. We’ll help your family get accountability and compensation for your loss.
The construction accident attorneys at Ostroff Injury Law have represented Pennsylvania and New Jersey families for more than 25 years. We understand how devastating it is to lose someone you love. We can’t erase the past, but we want to do everything we can to help your family get the accountability and financial support needed for a better future. To learn more, contact Ostroff Injury Law.