Has a loved one suffered a fatal accident while on the job? Call the Dallas attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that if someone is deliberately killed, the police will pursue an arrest, and prosecutors who are employed for the State of Texas will prosecute the person responsible. Unfortunately, families of those killed through negligence (as is often the case in a work-related accident) are often left with no sense of justice. The negligent employer is not usually charged with a crime, and often faces no repercussions for their actions.
While the employer may escape criminal charges, the family of the victim is often allowed to hold the employer at least financially responsible by seeking compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death law in the state of Texas.
The legal options available to the victim’s family are covered under the Texas Wrongful Death Act. Under the Texas Wrongful Death Act, beneficiaries are permitted to sue for the losses (damages) that they have suffered as a result, including: loss of financial support, loss of inheritance, loss of companionship, loss of affection, emotional distress, as well as funeral expenses and medical bills.
Additionally, the victim’s family may also be able to bring what’s called a survival action in order to seek compensation for the pain and suffering that the victim experienced prior to his or her untimely death.
Defining the term “wrongful death.”
What are the circumstances that allow a person to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas? A wrongful death is simply the term used when a person dies because of an injury he or she sustained due to the negligence of someone else (directly or indirectly).
Another question that often arises is “who has to right to file a wrongful death lawsuit?” While there is certain to be a long list of people who are heavily affected by the wrongful death of a particular person, state law imposes limits on who can actually file a lawsuit for the wrongful death. These people generally include only spouses, children, and parents.
The law clearly excludes even stepchildren who were not adopted by the decedent, same-sex partners, long-time boyfriends and girlfriends, and even grandparents. Spouses, children (and sometimes parents) are called “statutory beneficiaries” and are the only people who have the right to sue.
Don’t rely on workers’ compensation!
The families of workers killed on the job cannot rely on workers’ compensation to cover their actual losses related to the death. Workers’ comp provides VERY limited death benefits, and does not even come close to reimbursing the family for their true losses. Unfortunately, if your employer DOES legitimately subscribe to workers’ comp, they cannot be sued following a work accident, unless the death was caused by gross negligence.
Unlike other states, Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance; they are actually permitted to opt out. If they choose to opt out and self-insure instead of subscribing to state-run workers’ comp coverage, they can be sued for 100% of the related damages. In an attempt to avoid paying the high premiums for workers’ comp insurance, many Texas employers instead subscribe to a “copycat” insurance plan which tries to sound like workers’ compensation. They’re hoping that you or your lawyer won’t notice this detail so that they can avoid a lawsuit. To combat this, our attorneys always verify coverage directly with the Texas Department of Insurance.
If you have a loved one who has been killed on the job as the result of the employer’s negligence, our office may be able to help. We will verify the status of the employer’s workers’ compensation coverage at no cost, and explain the options available to you and your family over the phone. To reach one of our experienced wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation, call us at 1-877-405-4313 or email us using the contact form on this page.
Speak With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Dallas For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.