Although filing a
workers’ compensation claim in the event of a loved one’s death on the job can recover
some costs, it is typically not enough to cover the full extent of your
family’s losses. Under some circumstances, however, it is possible
to file a
wrongful death lawsuit against the employer.
If the Employer Carries Texas Workers’ Compensation Insurance
According to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, workers’
compensation “exclusively” covers the cost of a workplace
injury or death. This means employers who have workers’ comp insurance
cannot be named in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
However, there is an exception to this law. If the cause of the employee’s
death is an employer’s gross negligence or as a result of the employer’s
intentional act or oversight, families can file a wrongful death claim
against an employer. Even if the employer has provided workers’
comp benefits, this type of lawsuit can still be filed.
If another party—other than the employer—was responsible for
the workplace death, a family can file a third-party claim. These type
of claims are often filed against manufacturers of defective machinery,
distributors of tools used at the workplace, subcontractors, and other
If the Employer Doesn’t Carry Texas Workers’ Comp Insurance
If a worker is killed on the job for an employer who doesn’t carry
workers’ compensation insurance, the family is able to file a wrongful
death lawsuit to recover monetary losses. It is important to understand
that families can recover damages not typically awarded through the worker’s
compensation system, including pain and suffering, as we as punitive damages.
While some these employers may provide alternative accident relief and
health benefits to employees, they are not considered a legal replacement
for workers’ compensation.
If you have lost a loved one in a workplace injury in Fort Worth,
request a free consultation with the
Law Office of James M. Stanley today.