Wrongful Death Claims in Employment – Texas
Wrongful death claims in employment – texas
Wrongful Death claims in Texas in employment differ from other states in two specific ways.
In Texas even if your employer may not carry workers compensation. Most states do not allow an employer not to have workers’ compensation, but in Texas many of the largest employers do not carry workers’ compensation. This means that if your Texas employer has no Texas Workers’ Compensation Coverage of their own Occupation Injury Plan, the employer can still be sued if they are negligent in causing the injury or death. If they have Texas Workers’ Compensation they are protected from a lawsuit even if they are negligent, except as noted below.
If an employee is killed by the gross negligence of their employer then their spouse and children can sue and collect punitive damages. This is because the Texas Constitution specifically allows such lawsuits. In this regard The Workers’ Compensation Act States:
Sec. 408.001.EXCLUSIVE REMEDY; EXEMPLARY DAMAGES.
(a) Recovery of workers’ compensation benefits is the exclusive remedy of an employee covered by workers’ compensation insurance coverage or a legal beneficiary against the employer or an agent or employee of the employer for the death of or a work-related injury sustained by the employee.
(b)This section does not prohibit the recovery of exemplary damages by the surviving spouse or heirs of the body of a deceased employee whose death was caused by an intentional act or omission of the employer or by the employer’s gross negligence.
(c)In this section, “gross negligence” has the meaning assigned by Section 41.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Gross negligence is more than just negligence. To win this type of lawsuit your lawyer must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that:
(A) which when viewed objectively from the standpoint of the actor at the time of its occurrence involves an extreme degree of risk, consider the probability and magnitude of the potential harm to others; and
(B) of which the actor has actual, subjective awareness of the risk involved, but nevertheless proceeds with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.
It should always be remembered that, even if a loved one is killed or injured, they still have a claim against any third-parties who were not their employer and were negligent in causing their injury.
Causes of Workplace Deaths
Families who have lost loved ones to work accidents have the right to file wrongful death claims in employment in Texas. Here are some of the most common causes of work fatalities:
- Machinery Accidents: Heavy machinery is necessary in several industries, including construction, warehousing and manufacturing. However, these machines can be very dangerous if they’re used improperly. Common factors involved in machinery accidents include machine entanglement, dropped loads, backing up, colliding with another piece of equipment and failure to check blind spots. These accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, crushing injuries and other fatal injuries.
- Electrocutions: Electrocution hazards contribute to fatalities in the workplace. These injuries occur when an electrical current passes through the body and results in damage to the skin or internal organs. There are many factors that can cause fatal electrical injuries, including misuse of tools, poor connections and defective tools.
- Falls from Heights: Falls from heights are more likely to cause fatal injuries than other types of work injuries. These types of accidents are more common in the construction industry. Causes of falls may include poor weather conditions, unstable equipment, unprotected edges, old roofs and falling materials.
- Car Accidents: Employees that are required to drive a vehicle for work have a risk of getting into car accidents. Unfortunately, some of these accidents may result in fatalities. Factors that contribute to the fatalities include driving at excessive speeds, using alcohol or drugs while behind the wheel and driving an unsafe vehicle.
Why You Should Hire a Skilled Lawyer
If you want to file wrongful death claims in employment in Texas on behalf of your family member, you should speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Wrongful death cases can be quite complex, and it’s important to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side.
First of all, a skilled wrongful death lawyer will know how much your claim is truly worth. He or she will assess several aspects of your case, such as funeral costs, medical expenses and loss of source of earnings, before coming up with an accurate figure.
A lawyer can also help you save a lot of stress during this difficult time. When you’re grieving over the death of someone you loved, the last thing you should have to worry about is a lawsuit. Your lawyer will take care of the legwork, allowing you to grieve and take care of your family.
Have you been Wrongfully Terminated or Discriminated? Do you want to discuss Employment Law, a Work Injury, or a Workers Compensation issue? Contact us now!