Losing a loved one in a workplace accident can be one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. This is especially true when that person is the breadwinner of the family. The financial uncertainty combined with grieving is exceedingly difficult to handle. How does the family move forward after wrongful death?
There are a couple different options. One of them is to seek compensation through Texas workers’ comp. In some circumstances, it is possible to file what is called a third-party wrongful death claim against the employer.
Workers Comp’ and Third Party Claims for Wrongful Death in the Workplace
When negligence on the part of an employer leads to a worker’s death, that worker’s family can receive workers’ comp death benefits. These are not the only benefits the family (specifically, the spouse and children) can seek, however. Under wrongful death laws in Texas, the family can sue the employer for punitive damages. To receive the benefits, the plaintiffs will have to prove gross negligence on the part of the employer.
Ordinary negligence occurs when someone acts carelessly. Gross negligence, on the other hand, occurs when someone does something that is wantonly reckless, something that they knew or should have known was unsafe but they did it anyway.
To determine whether an employer’s actions were simply negligent or grossly negligent, the best course of action is to discuss the case with a workers’ compensation and wrongful death attorney.