Wrongful Death Claims after Work-Related Accidents

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wrongful Death Claims after Work-Related Accidents

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Wrongful death claims help families recover damages after a loved one is killed. Workers’ compensation can provide lost wages and funeral expenses, but it doesn’t cover other damages. Talk to an attorney if your loved one died while on the job to find out how you can recover your damages.

For American workers, each day, punching the clock can feel like just another day at work. However, workers quickly forget that any day could be their last due to an unexpected event on the job. Workplace accidents leading to deaths can happen in nearly any job, especially those in the transportation and construction industries. Sadly, many of them can be attributed to negligence in the workplace. If someone you loved lost their life in a workplace accident, be sure to meet with compassionate wrongful death lawyers to determine what legal options might be available to you.

Can the Employer be Sued?

Under Illinois workers’ compensation laws, an employer cannot be sued for wrongful death, with the exception of some rare circumstances. Instead, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. Employees and, when applicable, their families should receive workers’ compensation benefits no matter who is at fault for the accident. Even if the employer is not directly liable for the accident, under the law, they remain responsible for the costs of the injuries.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

In Illinois, an employer is legally obligated to pay the family of the deceased worker for up to 25 years worth of lost income or $500,000, whichever amount is greater. On top of this, the employer needs to pay for their funeral expenses. The employer doesn’t have to pay for other damages such as loss of consortium or loss of society. 

Lawsuits Against Third Parties

Even though the family of a deceased worker cannot file a legal claim against the employer, they might be able to file a claim against a related third party. Since the third party doesn’t employ the person who died, there are no laws against these lawsuits. 

For example:

  • If a pizza delivery driver was killed while driving and the other driver was at-fault for the accident, a wrongful death claim could be filed against the other driver
  • If a construction worker was using a heavy piece of machinery that lead to deadly injuries, the family could file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer of the machine
  • If two construction companies were working together on the same site and one company’s employee ran over the other companies employee killing them, that company or employee could be liable if a wrongful death suit were filed

In any of these circumstances or similar, the family should contact well-versed wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible to secure their legal rights.

Your Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyers 

No matter how the death of a family member occurs, it is always a difficult time. If their death was preventable if another party had not been negligent, accepting the loss of your loved one can be all the more overwhelming. The compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Malman Law are here for you. We can review the circumstances of your loved one’s death and explain your legal options. Get started seeking justice for your family member with a free no-obligation wrongful death consultation. Call (312) 629-0099 or use our online contact form today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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