Texas is home to a lot of dangerous industries, and workplace tragedies claim lives every year. Although there are legal protections in place to help surviving family members move forward after an unthinkable loss, many families are still left confused, grieving, unsure where to turn, and struggling to pay the bills.
If you have recently lost a husband, wife, child, or someone else close to you because of an accident at work, we are sorry to hear about your loss. Our sympathies are with you and your family. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and we want to help you get the answers you need. The following overview was created to answer some of the biggest questions you may have, explain how to get help, and start walking you through your rights after a workplace death.
What Are Our Family’s Options for Financial Compensation?
If your loved one’s employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you and other dependents could be eligible for death benefits. In addition, a person who incurred liability for the costs of burial may also be eligible for payment of up to $6000 for expenses. If you decide to pursue workers’ compensation death benefits, you will want to complete the necessary forms within one year of the death. A copy of the death certificate and documentation that establishes your legal beneficiary status must be filed at the same time. An attorney can assist you in filling out the paperwork and making sure you have the correct documents.
Workers’ compensation often provides death benefits to families of workers killed on the job, but this may not be the only option for help with the costs of your loss. If your loved one’s employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance or demonstrated negligence in causing the condition that led to your loved one’s death, then you may be able to bring a legal claim against the company. If the accident was in some way caused by a product or party other than your loved one’s employer, then you may also be able to pursue a third-party claim. If you’re unsure what options for financial compensation are available to you, you can speak with an attorney for clear information about your specific situation.
What Happens If the Employer Was Responsible for My Loved One’s Death?
In Texas, families may have the right to pursue a wrongful death or “gross negligence” claim against employers who are responsible for serious conditions that lead to a fatal accident. If your loved one was killed at work, it’s important that you speak with an attorney who can review all of the details of the incident, investigate on your behalf, and determine if your loved one’s employer can be held financially responsible.
The unfortunate news is that employers and their insurance companies will try to settle for less and minimize the damage to their bottom line and image. The people or companies who are potentially responsible for the loss of your loved one won’t necessarily help you get the real story—so it’s up to you to take steps to understand your rights as a surviving family member, get answers about what happened, and look for help from someone you trust to be on you and your family’s side.
How Can I Get Answers About My Loved One’s Death at Work?
Your family has suffered a catastrophic loss—so why aren’t you getting answers? While many people have lost their lives while working, many of those deaths aren’t followed up or investigated thoroughly, leaving the surviving family to wonder. Sometimes, workplace deaths don’t seem to be investigated at all, or the information that is collected isn’t shared with the family. So how can loved ones actually get answers about what happened, why it happened, and what they need to do to recover?
You may trust the company to “do the right thing” and take care of your family after a loved one is killed at work, especially if the tragedy that claimed your loved one’s life was preventable or the fault of the employer. However, many families who have lost loved ones are shocked to find out that their loved one’s employer may not have their best interests in mind—and many families don’t know enough about their rights to be able to fight back before it’s too late.
Even if you don’t eventually choose to file a lawsuit or try to hold the company responsible for the death, an attorney can offer free and confidential guidance that will help you understand what you face. It is very likely that you don’t understand your rights, and it’s very easy to lose them or make a mistake that wrecks your potential case. It’s understandable that your family is overwhelmed and in pain, but it’s still important to take steps that will protect you now and in the future.
After a serious tragedy like a workplace death, it makes sense to have an equally serious legal guide on your side. In addition to helping in streamlining and organizing the process, an experienced attorney can also make sure that you are pursuing all potential routes to appropriate compensation for your family, including determining if you are able to sue your loved one’s employer for negligence or have a potential third-party claim. He or she can provide clear answers to your questions, explain your rights, review any communication with the company or insurers, let you know what to expect, and work by your side every step of the way.
Ultimately, our attorneys understand that it’s impossible to cover all of your questions in an overview—that’s why we offer a completely free, confidential, and no-obligation consultation for families who have lost loved ones in work accidents. Your family deserves recognition of the hardships you now face because of someone else’s negligence. The experienced attorneys with VB Attorneys know how to fight for family members’ rights after a death that happens at work or is caused by an employer. To start investigating your case and getting answers today, contact our law office 1-877-724-7800 or fill out our confidential contact form.