Work-Related Wrongful Death Cases

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September 28, 2017

Work-related injuries can lead to worker’s compensation cases, but what if something even worse happens? Wrongful death involves something even worse – if a loved one dies on the job.

Construction deaths take up almost twenty percent of all workplace deaths, including falls, electrocutions, and being struck by objects. Logging, fishing, truck driving, and being an airplane pilot also are fields that put people at high risk for wrongful death.

There are two types of lawsuits associated with wrongful death.

  1. Wrongful death lawsuits hold the company responsible for the death of the person, and
    ask for damages on behalf of surviving family members etc. in order to compensate
    them for their losses. This can include income as well as compensating for emotional
    pain.
  2. Survivor’s claim, instead of filing on behalf of the family, essentially files a claim on
    behalf of the deceased for their pain and suffering – a lawsuit they could have filed
    themselves if they survived. This lawsuit would pay the damages to the estate of the
    deceased.

Remember, not just any death-on- the-job may be eligible for a wrongful death case. There has to be evidence that the death occurred due to negligence. According to Florida Statute 768.19, such a case can be filed “when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.”

So if the deceased was a truck driver on the job, and he caused a car accident, he is not liable for wrongful death. However, if that same truck driver crashed because of a faulty truck part that the company put in place, then a wrongful death action may work.

This means, if you want to file this kind of case, you must be prepared to collect plenty of evidence from the workplace and medical files in order to prove the actual cause of death. Wrongful death cases may be filed only by certain parties – such as a spouse, parent, child, or other dependent blood (or legally adopted) relative. Damages that can be collected include lost income and support, medical costs, potential future income, and emotional damage.

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