There is no one word in any language that can accurately describe the pain and anguish that is felt when a loved one passes away. While this pain impacts everyone, sometimes the shock of a loss is much worse because the deceased’s life was cut short in an unexpected work accident.
As if the horror of losing a loved one in a terrible accident isn’t bad enough, the surviving loved ones are suddenly thrust into a situation where they have to learn to live without the comfort, help, and financial support of the deceased, a situation that many are completely unprepared for.
The Surviving Loved Ones Have Legal Options
While nothing can ever replace a life, those who are left behind do have legal options.
Workers’ compensation insurance is required by nearly every employer in the state.
While most people believe that the policy will only cover those who survive an on the job accident, the fact is that it does provide death benefits as well. The benefits can provide the surviving loved ones with payments which will hopefully give them the financial support they need to stay afloat while coping with their loss.
In addition to this, if the worker received any medical treatment prior to passing away from their injuries, those medical bills should be covered. Also, funeral and burial coverage may be available.
There are very strict timelines when filing for death benefits which is why it is a good idea to contact an attorney during this difficult period who can help you move forward with a claim.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death complaints are a type of civil lawsuit. A lawsuit can provide the deceased’s family with additional compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings, the physical pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before they passed, the emotional trauma experienced by both the deceased and their loved ones, and funeral and burial expenses.
Lawsuits typically cannot be filed against the deceased’s employer because workers’ compensation prevents that. However, in most accidents, there is a third party whose negligence caused the fatal injuries sustained by the victim.
Can I File Both Workers’ Comp & A Lawsuit?
Yes, both of these claims can be filed at the same time. Assuming that the workers’ compensation claim is approved, the payments should start within a few weeks. Lawsuits take a bit longer, with the quickest resolving in a few months and other taking more than a year.
Why Would The Claim Be Denied?
You would think that providing support to the loved ones of a victim would be a priority for employers and insurance companies, but in many cases, it is not. Insurance adjusters are trained to look for ways to deny a claim so that they can save their company money. In other cases, the claim is denied because the employer is contesting the claim in an attempt to prevent their insurance premiums from going up.
How Could An Attorney Help Me?
Just a few ways in which a good workers’ compensation and wrongful death attorney can help include:
- Providing excellent communication with the client from the moment they first contact the firm.
- Explaining every possible legal option available to the client.
- Assisting the client with obtaining and evidence that may be needed to prove the claim or lawsuit.
- Contacting and interview any witnesses.
- Speaking with the insurance company on behalf of their client.
- Checking all paperwork for mistakes which could result in a denial.
- Preparing the client for a potential trial.
- Handle an appeal if a claim has already been denied.
At The Disability Guys, we are dedicated to making sure our clients feel supported every step of the way and that they get what they both need and deserve.
Will I Need To Testify In Court?
It is possible that the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit will need to testify in court but this shouldn’t deter anyone from seeking legal assistance. We prepare each case as though it is going to trial despite the fact that the majority of lawsuits settle out of court. This means that we also prepare our clients for the trial experience.
What Is A Settlement?
Prior to going to court, the parties involved in the lawsuit have the option to negotiate a settlement. This can be beneficial because it gives the plaintiff peace knowing exactly how much money they will receive and generally payments arrive within a month. It also saves both sides time since once an agreement is reached, the lawsuit is ended.