Losing your spouse in a workplace accident is an extremely emotional and tragic experience. When you lose your spouse, not only are you faced with coping with the idea of a future alone – and the emotional and psychological issues that accompany that reality – but you may also have concerns about providing for your child, paying your mortgage, and maintaining your quality of life without your spouse, partner, and income earner.
If your spouse was killed in a negligence-based workplace accident, you might be under the impression that you are unable to file a wrongful death lawsuit due to workers’ compensation laws.
While workers’ compensation laws do prohibit civil actions against employers, you may file a third-party wrongful death action against another liable party.
When Is a Wrongful Death Action Permitted Following a Workplace Accident?
If a third party other than the deceased’s employer was to blame for the workplace accident and death of your spouse, then you may file a wrongful death action against this party.
To be sure, a wrongful death action is permitted any time a death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract of another. Examples of potentially liable parties in a wrongful death action following a workplace accident include:
- The manufacturer of a dangerous/defective piece of machinery that caused the accident;
- A third-party contractor or employee from another company;
- The owner of a property where the accident occurred who failed to remedy a hazardous condition that caused the accident and death; or
- Any other third party whose negligence caused the accident.
In some cases, you may be able to file both a wrongful death lawsuit and a workers’ compensation claim.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
While workers’ compensation benefits in Florida do provide death benefits to surviving family members, these benefits are designed to compensate a spouse for the deceased’s lost wages and funeral and burial expenses but do not account for noneconomic losses such as pain, suffering, and loss of consortium.
When you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you have the right to seek damages for all economic and noneconomic losses. While only the representative of the deceased can file the lawsuit, damages can be recovered for surviving beneficiaries, including both a spouse and child.
Contact Our Clearwater Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
At the Dolman Law Group, our experienced wrongful death lawyers know the pain and sorrow you are experiencing. We believe that you have the right to seek the full value of your damages after losing a spouse in a workplace accident, and are here to advocate for you. Use our online form to request your free consultation.