If a workplace accident resulted in a fatal injury to your loved one, contact a wrongful death lawyer to help understanding your legal options. A work-related wrongful death is stressful for the victim’s family who is often unprepared for life without their loved one. A wrongful death lawyer may be able to identify resources available to help with funeral expenses, loss of income and other damages.
Common Reasons for Workplace Fatalities
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 4,764 workers succumbed to workplace fatalities last year. Some industries, such as construction industry, transportation industry, agriculture industry, and mining industry have a disproportionately higher rate of fatalities than other industries. Common reasons for workplace fatalities include:
- Struck by an Object
- Electrocution Accidents
- Motor vehicle Accidents
- Caught-In-Between Accidents
- Toxic Hazards
Wrongful Death and Workers Compensation
One option for a victim’s family is to pursue a workers compensation claim for their loved one’s death. One benefit of filing a workers compensation claim is that you do not need to prove that the employer was negligent to receive benefits. A workers compensation lawyer from our firm can help seek the full in complete compensation for your loss. These benefits can replace a portion of the victim’s income to their surviving family members and help pay for medical, funeral, and burial costs. An attorney at our firm can help you understand these benefits and which surviving family members may be eligible for them.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In some cases, you loved one’s work-related death was preventable and caused by someone else’s negligence. In these cases, you may have the option to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, you cannot bring a wrongful death claim against your employer if they pay for workers compensation insurance, except in very limited circumstances. However, a wrongful death lawyer can file a lawsuit in circumstances whereby a third party – such as a vendor, subcontractor, or negligent equipment manufacturer – was liable for the fatal accident.
For example, if your loved one was a roadside flagger and was struck by an intoxicated delivery driver, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Another example is if a worker on a construction site is fatally injured from a faulty piece of equipment. In this case, you may be able to hold the manufacturer or the designer of the product liable for their death.
Proving Negligence for a Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Claim
If you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will need to uphold that
- The defendant had a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The breach of duty caused the accident
- Your loved one suffered damage from the accident
To succeed in a workplace wrongful death claim, you will also need to prove these 4 elements. As an example, if a construction site employee is killed when a negligent subcontractor failed to implement the proper safety precautions, a wrongful death claim may be considered against the third-party subcontractor.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims may seek compensation for damages that include:
- Compensation for medical expenses incurred prior to the victim’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Projected lost wages that would have been earned until the victim’s retirement
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of services, care, and other benefits provided by the deceased
Why Should I Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
A wrongful death lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm can help you recover the most from a wrongful death lawsuit. Our experienced professionals can fully investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s accident and identify if another party may be liable. They will devise a legal strategy to seek the best outcome for your family. We recognize that a family’s world is upended after a workplace fatality; our lawyers will competently handle the claim so that you can focus on confidently moving forward.
What is the Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The statue of limitations for wrongful death claims varies by state. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, both have a two-year statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your eligibility to file a claim.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC Today
Workplace fatalities due to negligence deserve the attention of a wrongful death lawyer to represent the family’s best interests. Our attorneys offer a free consultation to review the circumstances surrounding the work accident and review the legal options available to you. There is absolutely no risk, as we never earn a fee unless we achieve compensation for you. Call us today at 215-666-7777 or send us a message to speak directly to an attorney.