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What to Do If Your Loved One Was Killed in a Work Accident

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers | What to Do If Loved One Was Killed Workplace Accident

Undefeated Houston, Texas Work Injury Lawyers

Workplace fatalities are rising in Texas and across the United States.

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace accidents killed at least 5,033 people in 2019 alone, a 2% increase over the prior year and the highest rate of worker fatalities recorded since 2007.

Texas led the nation in work-related fatalities that year.

If your spouse or another loved one was tragically killed at work, the shock and grief you’re feeling can make it hard to move forward. And, of course, no amount of money will ever make up for their loss. However, your loved one’s sudden and unexpected death will have considerable financial ramifications now and in the future, especially if they provided your family’s primary source of income.

The actions you take now and over the next few weeks and months could well determine whether your family’s needs are met or if you’ll be forced to live on whatever workers’ compensation death benefits you receive.

Don’t Depend on Workers’ Compensation to Provide for Your Family

Workers’ compensation death benefits are intended to compensate survivors when an employee dies on the job.  These benefits are generally paid to the surviving spouse, minor children, and children under 25 who are enrolled in an accredited college or university. Under certain circumstances, workers compensation death benefits may also be paid to:

  • Dependent grandchildren
  • Other dependent family members
  • Non-dependent parents (but only when there are no surviving eligible dependent family members).

In Texas, survivors are entitled to 75% of their loved one’s average weekly wages.  However, benefits are subject to a statutory weekly maximum of $895, even if that’s less than 75% of the average weekly wage. Workers’ compensation may also provide benefits to cover burial expenses.

Unfortunately, these benefits don’t even come close to covering basic monthly expenses like rent, mortgage, utilities, tuition, and child care for many families. Most importantly, they don’t provide compensation for loss of consortium, physical impairment, mental anguish, or any of the other damages you could potentially recover by filing a  wrongful death lawsuit and survival claim.

Don’t Assume You Can’t File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Having successfully represented thousands of workplace accident victims and families in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and across the United States, it’s been our experience that the majority of work-related injuries and deaths are entirely preventable and usually result from negligence on the part of an employer, a third party (such as an equipment manufacturer), or both.

While workers’ compensation can limit your ability to sue an employer after a work-related death, Texas and many other states also allow survivors to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit when a workplace fatality results from negligence. Unlike workers’ compensation, a successful case could provide restitution for all of the economic and non-economic damages incurred by your family due to your loved one’s death, including:

  • Loss of past and future income
  • Loss of past and future household services and assistance
  • Loss of society, companionship, and consortium
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress suffered by family members

The state of Texas also allows families to pursue “survival” claims for the  pain, suffering, and mental anguish inflicted on their loved one due to the company’s negligence. And they can also recover “exemplary damages” (also known as punitive damages) when a workplace fatality results from a willful act or omission or gross negligence.

Exemplary damages are intended to make an example of the defendant and prevent their wrongful conduct from ever occurring again. While most personal injury attorneys have never recovered exemplary or punitive damages, our Texas Workplace Accident Lawyers have done so in EVERY major wrongful death case we’ve taken to trial.

Never Count on an Employer or Its Insurer to Take Care of Your Family

Trusting your loved one’s employer or its insurance company to take care of your family after a fatal workplace accident will undoubtedly place your future in jeopardy. No matter how much concern they show and how strongly they promise to make things right, the company and its insurer don’t care if you have the financial resources to replace your loved one’s future lost income, meet your monthly expenses, pay for your children’s education, or save for retirement.

Instead, they only care about protecting their profits by limiting your recovery to whatever you and your family receive in workers’ compensation death benefits. And they’ll do anything – including blaming your loved one for their own death and “losing” or destroying critical evidence – to avoid paying you and your family all that you are owed.

Don’t sign anything or accept any payment – other than the workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to – without first talking to an experienced workplace accident lawyer.

Hire an Experienced Workplace Accident Lawyer

You should never attempt to negotiate with an employer or its insurance company on your own. Doing so will only allow the company to delay and eventually deny your valid claims. And the longer this process drags on, the more likely you are to walk away with nothing.

Only an experienced workplace accident lawyer – one who consistently wins record-breaking verdicts and settlements for injured workers and wrongful death victims – will understand the tactics employers use to avoid accountability, know how to locate and preserve vital evidence, and can ensure that you and your family receive the maximum compensation possible for all of your losses.

Undefeated Houston Work Accident Lawyers: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation.

Our Houston Work Injury Lawyers have won Billions — including the #1 Largest Oilfield Accident Settlement in History, #1 Largest Burn Injury Settlement in History, and the #1 Largest Verdicts and Settlements in our Opponents’ Corporate Histories – for workers and families across Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and throughout the United States.

If you tragically lost a loved one in a work-related accident, call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat” button on our homepage, or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.

We’ll answer all of you your questions, explain your rights, and provide all the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.

To learn more about our success representing workplace accident and wrongful death victims, visit our “Results” page or click here to see what our clients have said about their experience with our firm.

All consultations are free, and you won’t owe us a dime unless we win your case.