It is one of the most devastating and painful experiences in life to lose a loved one. If it was sudden and unexpected, due to an accident at work, this is an even harder pill to swallow. If they were the main provider for your and other surviving family members, figuring out how to continue on may be overwhelming. Is there a solution? Can you sue the employer in a wrongful death case? We will answer these questions and offer further insight into the situations in the following article.

Although money cannot bring back your loved one, it's important to know the differences between workers compensation death benefits and wrongful death lawsuits in order to protect your family's financial future in the event that your loved one has died.

There are certain situations where workers comp benefits will be available and other instances where you may have the option to file a lawsuit. The specifics of your case will determine what option is the best.

Call the NY Wrongful Death Lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law for help if you find yourself dealing with a legal case after the death of a loved one. Our team can help you resolve your case.

Workers Compensation Benefits or Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Workers compensation insurance, which offers a variety of benefits to employees, including death benefits, is required for employers. All employees are covered by workers compensation in New York, a state that follows a no-fault system. This means that employees are entitled to benefits regardless of fault.

Employers primarily gain from the workers compensation system because it protects them from lawsuits related to injuries or fatalities that occur on the job. However, there are circumstances where you may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer, or there may be other parties liable for a workplace death.

If your loved one was killed on a construction site, but subcontractors and general contractors produced subpar work, this may create an environment where an accident could occur. If they failed to inform other workers about unsafe or dangerous conditions on the jobsite, they could be held liable if a death occurred through a third party wrongful death claim. If a product design or part was faulty, the maker of the equipment or parts may be held responsible. The surviving family members may be entitled to sue the third party, rather than the employer, in these situations for wrongful death.

If the surviving family members can demonstrate that the other party was negligent, they may be able to seek damages in a wrongful death case that exceed the coverage benefits provided by workers' compensation. In the event that a claim is successful, children and survivors may get compensation for the loss of parental guidance and companionship, respectively. Furthermore, there is no cap on the amount of lost wages or earning capacity in a wrongful death action. 

When compared to workers compensation death benefits, the amount of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is significantly higher. However, the length of time it could take to settle a wrongful death claim could be substantial, as compared to benefits recovered through workers' compensation.

In most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer or co-worker for an injury or death that took place at work. Workers compensation shields the company from legal action.

Damages You Can Recover In A NY Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The surviving members of the deceased person's family will receive the compensation awarded in a wrongful death case in NY. This is usually the victim’s spouse and children, if any. Damages include:

  • Medical costs
  • Funeral, and burial expenses
  • Loss of the victim’s future earnings
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of medical coverage
  • Loss of the victim’s care and parental guidance (even for adult children)
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of household services the victim would have provided to the family

When Should I Call A Wrongful Death Lawyer?

Whether you have a workers comp claim for death benefits or a wrongful death lawsuit, it's important to seek legal help. A lump sum settlement may be offered by certain employers or insurance providers, and they may pressure you to accept it at the beginning of the process. A lawyer can relieve you of this stress while you grieve.

Our lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law have backgrounds in wrongful death, personal injury, and workers' compensation. Every case we take on is handled with understanding and compassion.

For a free consultation, reach out to us today.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Thu, 03/07/2024 - 19:14

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