What happens when a loved one dies as a result of a work related injury?
When a loved one suffers a tragic death, so many things happen at once. Most families are so overwhelmed during this difficult time and may not fully understand the benefits that they are entitled to. If an employee dies as a result of an event that occurred at work and the employer had workers’ compensation insurance, then there may be two avenues of recovery for the remaining family members.
Texas in unique in that there is no requirement for employers to have workers compensation insurance. However, if an employer is a subscriber to workers’ compensation then, they cannot be sued for negligence. This means, that if someone is hurt on the job, then typically their own means for recovery is through the Texas Department of Insurance – Division of Workers’ Compensation. They cannot sue for negligence. However, there is an exception to this – and that exception involves cases where there has been gross negligence. Most, if not all, cases that involved an employee’s death meet the legal standard for gross negligence. Having two avenues for recovery can become complicated very quickly therefore it is always best to consult an attorney.
If an employee dies from a work related injury certain family members may be entitled to benefits. The following may be entitled to benefits:
- Surviving spouse of the deceased injured worker (formal marriage or common law marriage)
- Dependent child or children of the deceased injured worker
- Dependent grandchild or grandchildren of the deceased injured worker
- Other eligible dependent family member(s) of the deceased injured worker
- If there are no surviving eligible family members or beneficiaries, the deceased workers ‘Parents may be entitled to DIBs for a limited amount of time.
There are also benefits to help cover funeral expenses up to $6000.00. If you think you might be a beneficiary or have questions about any work related injury, call The Recalde Law Firm for a free initial consultation. You can also e-mail us at Erica.Dominguez@RecaldeLawFirm.com.