Q Should I file a wrongful death lawsuit or a survivor action after a construction accident?
Many grieving families struggle with the decision to take legal action after a loved one’s death. While no lawsuit can return your family member to you, it can provide necessary income and help put a stop to the negligent practices that led to your loved one’s death.
Suing After a Fatal Construction Accident: Wrongful Death vs. Survivor Action
If a construction worker dies as a result of an accident or injury at work, his family can file two separate claims: a wrongful death suit, and a survivor action. Families can file for one of the other, or they can pursue both claims in the same case. While both claims are based on employer negligence, they have different arguments and types of damages.
- Wrongful Death Actions. These lawsuits make the claim that the worker’s death was caused by negligence, and that the death resulted in hardship and losses for his family members. Damages in a wrongful death case are meant to compensate the family for the losses they have suffered, such as loss of income and financial support, loss of spousal or parental support, and lost quality of life.
- Survivor Actions. Survivor claims make the argument that the worker was killed as a result of negligence, but seek damages for the pain and suffering the worker experienced before his death. These cases are based on the assumption that the worker himself would have been able to sue for the accident had he lived, and the employer should not be absolved of liability for pain and suffering because the worker is unable to bring a case. Damages for pain and suffering may paid in addition to wrongful death damages, and are paid to the family members or estate of the deceased worker.
In addition to these two claims, families may be able to collect an additional amount from workers’ compensation after a fatal construction accident. At MFR Law Office, we can gather evidence against your loved one’s employer to build an effective negligence case, getting you the justice you deserve and the funds you need after the loss of a family member. Fill out the quick contact form on this page to have us get to work investigating your case.