Workers' CompensationWrongful DeathWrongful Death in the Workplace: Examining Employer Liability and Workers’ Compensation Claims

May 23, 20230

Jobs in certain industries carry a greater than average risk of injury or death. This includes law enforcement, logging, mining, and construction, to name a few. Accidents are common in the workplace taken as a collective, although individual careers may have lower rates of incidences. The worst outcome in these cases is the death of a loved one.

Each state establishes its own regulations in wrongful death accidents that occur at work. Where workers’ compensation is available, those family members who lost a loved one can be assured of continued income from the deceased’s family benefit. This is of great importance to families where the deceased person was the sole provider for the family.

However, some employees lost their lives due to the negligence of someone at work or a faulty item, such as scaffolding. In some states, it is possible to institute a wrongful death claim as opposed to workers’ compensation.

How do these two legal solutions differ from each other? Can families choose one to follow through? Are they barred from choosing any of the options in Boston? Below we take a look at these questions.

The Difference between a Wrongful Death Case and Death Benefits of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation benefits were created to provide financial assistance to the family and dependents of employees that died on the job or were injured and unable to work. The fund originated as a way to permit organizations to plan their budgets for anticipated incidents and to take care of workers and their families. Boston employees are not allowed to institute a personal injury claim as a civil case. They are instead required to put in a claim for workers’ compensation.

Benefits of Workers’ Compensation

The huge benefit to the injured employee, or their family members if deceased, is that they do not have to prove that the company was negligent or lax in their safety regulations and checks. Even if the employer was not the responsible party, the claimant will still receive the benefit. The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) is the body that runs the workers’ compensation fund in Boston, Massachusetts. A civil hearing may still be overturned, and no compensation paid unless the plaintiff can prove that the defendant was at fault.

Wrongful Death

The family members can claim for a wrongful death of their loved ones in civil court provided that they can prove that the company was negligent or a third party, such as a contractor was responsible. Secondly, the family members have to prove that, as a result of the wrongful death, they have lost the deceased’s income and it has caused them to suffer harm, or that they have suffered intangible loss. This includes the loss of a partner, pain and suffering, and/or a lowered quality of life. This is where workers’ compensation does not work the same as wrongful death claims. The former does not award benefits for intangible losses. An attorney with solid testimonials can help you to determine your best course of action in Massachusetts.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You Claim Your Legal Rights in Boston

If your loved one died in a workplace accident, we can assist you with handling the case. For assistance with wrongful death in the workplace, get in touch with our law firm, M Smith Law.

Visit our offices at the following address 15 Broad St #800 Boston, MA 02109. Call now for a free consultation on (617) 263-0860.

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