When a person dies in a work accident, many families believe that workers' compensation and Social Security are the only sources of financial help available to them. If the death was caused by negligence of another party, you may have other options.
At Cavanagh Law Group, our lawyers can provide the support and advice you need following the loss of a family member in a fatal work accident. Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation in wrongful death lawsuits for families in Chicago and throughout Illinois.
Lose a family member in a fatal work accident? Contact our attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
Can I Sue My Family Member's Employer?
In exchange for providing workers' compensation benefits, employers are generally protected from lawsuits arising from personal injury or wrongful death of an employee. However, there are exceptions. If the death was caused by gross negligence (which is the conscious and voluntary disregard of the need to use reasonable care), family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer. In addition, third parties (anyone other than your family member's employer or co-workers) are not protected from lawsuits.
Many fatal work accidents involve third parties. Examples include:
- Deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents occurring on the job;
- Deaths caused by dangerous or defective products or equipment;
- Explosions and fires caused by dangerous chemicals; and
- Accidents caused by negligent vendors or contractors.
Workers' compensation benefits are paid regardless of fault. To recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, your family will need to prove liability on the part of the party that caused your loved one's death. It's important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accidental death so that evidence of liability can be collected and preserved.
Contact Our Cook County Wrongful Death Attorneys
For more information, contact our fatal work accident attorneys in Chicago at 312-425-1900 or by e-mail.