According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas leads the nation in workplace-related deaths, and the numbers continue to rise every year. Texas is also the only state in the union that does not require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance, which creates unique liabilities and challenges for workers who have suffered an occupational injury or workplace death. If you or a loved one have been injured or suffered a fatality at work, you may be entitled to compensation, but it’s important to work with a qualified attorney who is an expert in Austin wrongful death claims. Aaron Allison Law Firm has been fighting for the rights of workers for 30 years and can help you recover compensation for workplace death lawsuits.
Workplace Death Risk Factors
In 2019, an American worker died on the job every 99 minutes. The most dangerous occupations are:
- Fishing and hunting industries
- Logging industries
- Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
- Construction trade helpers
Workplace-related deaths in the private construction industry continue to rise and have reached the highest levels since 2007.
Regardless of occupation and industry, most workplace deaths are the result of:
- Transportation accidents and incidents
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Injuries due to violence or animal attacks
- Contact with hazardous objects or equipment
- Exposure to harmful substances or workplace environments
In fact, nearly 1 in 5 victims of a workplace death worked as a driver.
Workplace Death Compensation in Texas
If a Texas employer carries workers’ comp insurance and an employee has a fatal workplace injury or occupational death, their loved ones are entitled to death benefits that may include:
- Reimbursement for funeral costs.
- Income replacement. A surviving spouse is entitled to a weekly payout equal to 75% of the lost wage. If there are also minor dependents, the spouse is entitled to half of this weekly amount, while dependents receive the other half, divided equally.
- If the surviving spouse later remarries, they are entitled to a one-time lump sum income replacement payout equal to 104 weeks.
- Under the rules of workers’ comp, other types of survivors (including parents, siblings, or grandparents), may be entitled to death benefits in the case of a workplace death.
Because workers’ comp is a form of insurance, the rules regarding the type and amount of workplace death compensation, eligibility for death benefits, and how to claim death benefits, are clearly defined and limited. There are strict procedures regarding who, when, and how to claim death benefits, so it is always a good idea to discuss a workers’ comp occupational fatality claim with a qualified attorney to make sure you and your family are getting everything you are entitled to.
If a Texas employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, the surviving family members have no choice but to sue the employer for wrongful death by filing a workplace death lawsuit. While workers’ comp defines and limits death benefits, it also limits the employer’s liability. Without that insurance, employers are liable for a wide range of workplace death compensation costs and potential penalties, including:
- Reimbursement for funeral costs
- Income replacement
- Pain and suffering
- In some cases, penalties for gross negligence
When filing a workplace death lawsuit in Texas, the burden of proof for employer negligence and liability may be lower than in other states, making it easier for surviving loved ones to win their case and receive compensation.
How Can Aaron Allison Help?
If you or a loved one have been injured in the workplace in Texas, or if you are a survivor of a workplace death, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney right away. Some survivor benefits may apply immediately, but an expert Austin wrongful death lawyer will help you understand your rights and options. Aaron Allison is a family-owned law firm that has been fighting to protect the rights of wrongful death victims since 1978. Speak with a compassionate lawyer and get everything you are entitled to today.