Can I Sue if a Family Member Dies At Work?

By Chris Dixon


If someone dies at work, the victim’s family members could recover compensation on behalf of the victim with a wrongful death or workers’ compensation claim. If you lost a family member in a work-related accident, but are unsure how to proceed with the victim’s case, an experienced lawyer can analyze the situation and determine the best path for recovering damages for your family’s harm and losses.

Am I Eligible to Receive Death Benefits?

When a person dies because of an unexpected accident at work, the victim’s surviving family members could be eligible to recover compensation for pain and suffering caused in the accident. Though wrongful death laws are different in each state, the most common people that are eligible to sue when a family member dies at work include:

  • The victim’s spouse or life partner
  • Children or designated heirs of the deceased
  • The victim’s parents or grandparents
  • The victim’s siblings

With wrongful death laws varying across the U.S., it can be difficult in some cases to determine who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim or remember what type of damages can be recovered with a valid suit. However, by hiring a wrongful death lawyer to represent your case, eligibility to file a wrongful death claim, recoverable damages, and a potential outcome for the victim’s case can quickly be determined.

Workers’ Compensation vs. Wrongful Death

If a person dies in a workplace accident, the surviving family members of the victim can recover damages by filing a claim, but the type of claim that should be filed varies from case to case. If the victim’s death was directly caused by or contributed to by their employer, a workers’ compensation claim can be filed against their employer. However, if the victim’s death was caused by an unavoidable accident at work, a wrongful death claim can be filed.

If you have lost a family member in an accident and are unsure of the best way to proceed with your claim, hiring an experienced lawyer can quickly develop a plan for recovering compensation from the negligent party and provide support while grieving the loss of your relative.

If a valid workers’ compensation claim or wrongful death suit is filed on behalf of a victim, surviving family members of the victim could be eligible to receive survivor benefits. Survivor benefits for an unavoidable accident that happened at work are usually dispersed in a lump-sum, but if an employee dies while on the job in an accident caused by their employer’s negligence, the surviving family members of the victim are entitled to a weekly payment that supplements the loss of the victim’s income.

While the amount that family members can receive for a victim’s death differs for every case, typically, immediate family members are eligible to recover at least 60 to 100% of the social security work credits that were earned by the victim during their career. The percentage of recoverable credits is calculated based on the person’s relationship with the deceased. If you are unsure how much you are eligible to recover in survivor benefits for a family member’s death, or you are unhappy with the amount you’ve been awarded, a wrongful death lawyer can assess your situation, and determine the options available to your case for recovering more damages for your family member’s wrongful death.

Speak with a Lawyer About Your Wrongful Death Case Today

If you have lost a family member in a fatal work accident and you are struggling to determine whether you can sue for wrongful death damages, it’s crucial to consult an experienced lawyer as soon as you possibly can. A lawyer can ensure that you are protected during this vulnerable time, have the support you need when filing a claim against the other party, and are fully aware of the options available to you and your family for recovering compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering caused in the accident.

If you need a lawyer to help you file a claim against the person responsible for your family member’s death, or are unsure whether you are eligible to file a claim in the first place, contact the Dixon Injury Firm today and schedule a free consultation. Our Wrongful Death Lawyers understand how difficult it can be to lose someone in a terrible accident, so our lawyers are dedicated to making the process as simple as possible for the surviving family members of victims and are passionate about getting justice and the maximum amount of compensation for our clients’ pain and suffering.

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