Many workers pass away every year due to accidents. Illinois stands out as one of the most dangerous places for people to work. The number of deaths shocks the observer. Deaths come in all kinds of ways. People fall. People get electrocuted. People get hit by cars. If someone you know passes away on the job, there are things you can do. We help people that have wrongfully lost a loved one. We assist them in bringing a case and obtaining relief. Read these sections. They touch on workers’ wrongful deaths issues. Then, give us a call. You can recover! We can help!
- Workers’ Wrongful Deaths in Illinois
- Workers’ Wrongful Death Facts
- Can I sue for Workers’ Wrongful Deaths?
- What is the Value of Workers’ Wrongful Death Claims?
- Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements for Workers’ Families
- Attorneys That can Help You in Illinois
Workers’ Wrongful Deaths in Illinois
You might feel safe at work. While jobs are not as dangerous as they used to be, they still threaten workers’ safety every day. Millions of workers get injured every year. Thousands die due to work accidents. These deaths rip apart the lives of their friends and loved ones. They undermine the economic stability of the home. These jobs take the most workers’ lives:
- Iron/steel workers
- Garbage pickers.
- Truck drivers.
- Taxi drivers.
How do they die? Accidents happen in all sorts of ways. They fall of buildings. They get his by vehicles. They get electrocuted. The list goes on and on. You can do something! If your loved one dies at work, recovery options exist. Our team can work with you and get you the relief you need. Call us today to start the process. Our lawyers have experience and skill. We can answer your questions and get the ball rolling.
Workers’ Wrongful Death Facts
- Almost 5,000 workers die every year.
- About 3 in 100,000 workers die every year.
- Roadway accidents make up one in four worker deaths.
- Truck driving is the deadliest job.
- Almost 1,000 construction workers die every year.
- By far, men die more than women on the job.
- People aged 45 to 64 have the most job fatalities.
- California, Florida, New York, Ohio, and Texas have the most worker fatalities.
Can I sue for Workers’ Wrongful Deaths?
No, you cannot sue for a worker’s death in Illinois. The law makes you go through the workers’ comp system. That process mirrors a lawsuit but differs in big ways. It has some rules you should be aware of. First, the person that died must have been an employee. Second, the death must have been in the course of employment. This means the person must have been working at the time. He or she need not be on the employers site. They only need be working for the employer’s benefit when the death occurred. They could be travelling to or from clients. If they are commuting to work, crash, and die, it won’t count. Third, the person cannot be an independent contractor. Read the examples below. They all could be claims for workers’ comp death benefits:
- Worker falls off scaffold when cleaning employer’s windows.
- Worker gets electrocuted on a client’s job site.
- Worker gets heart attack and dies from job stress at work site.
- Worker gets run over by a forklift at employer’s site.
You could get death benefits other ways. These general rules dictate if you will succeed. To learn more, call our offices. We can help you get the benefits you deserve.
What is the Value of Workers’ Wrongful Death Claims?
What can I get in a wrongful death claim? Families of lost workers ask us this a lot. They want to know if the process will be worth it. In fact, it takes time, energy, and focus. Before reviewing that, let’s talk about who can recover. These people can seek compensation:
So what can they get? They can recover for a bunch of things. They can get money for medical bills. They can seek compensation for funeral costs. Also, they can seek money for lost income. The insurance company must pay if someone dies on the job. The question becomes how much the family should get. To answer that, you look to what the person would have made. Then, how much the family would have gotten. Thus, you must prove a dependent status to the person that died. Although, kids and spouses don’t have to do this. The law assumes they depended on the dead worker. In total, death benefits can go as high as $500,000 or $1,000,000.
Can they get anything else? Yes, they can sue third parties. If third parties caused the death, they must pay. Examples of this liability include property owners, drivers, and product makers. You don’t need to go through workers’ comp. Thus, this allows new kinds of recovery for families like:
- Lost companionship.
- Punitive damages.
To figure out the value of your claim, call our law offices. We can calculate what your death benefits will total. Then, we can show you what to do to get them. You don’t have to go through this alone. We are here to help!
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements for Workers’ Families
Unfortunately, the worst consequences of work site accident are not lung damage, amputations, or carpal tunnel syndrome. No, many people die during their employment as well. Here are some cases that deal with that:
2014; Massachusetts; $500,000 Settlement:
Suddenly, a young construction foreman falls ill at work and dies of a heart attack. He is only 32 years old. His family quickly filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the employer. They said that the emotional and physical stress of the job was to blame for his health issues. The company said that, instead of that, his family medical history, obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure combined to give him a heart attack. Furthermore, they argued his job was merely managerial and supervisory and could not have done this. This issue went to trial and even proceeded into the preliminary stage of interviewing witnesses. However, soon after this, both sides met and arranged a confidential settlement of $500,000.
2010; New Jersey; $1,000,000 Settlement:
The employee in this case was working on a scaffold seven stories up when he accidentally stepped through a cutout and fell to his death. The family of the decedent wanted to sue the company rather than bring a workers’ compensation claim. They did not have to look very far to find various instances of intentional misdeeds such as multiple evasions of regulations. Once they exhibited various health and safety failures, the defendants were quick to settle. They gave the decedent’s family $1,000,000.
2013; Massachusetts; $400,000 Settlement:
This was a different kind of workers’ compensation case, even with the wrongful death component. A middle-aged chief financial officer went down to Florida for a work convention. A day after it had concluded, he was getting ready to return home when he collapsed and died of a heart attack. His wife brought a workers’ compensation claim against the company for benefits. The company raised a number of unique and significant critiques to this claim. First, the family already received a considerable sum of money through his salary that workers’ compensation seemed out of place for them. Second, they argued that since the convention was over he was longer working in the course of his employment and, thus, workers’ compensation was not proper. Finally, they doubted that executives could receive workers’ compensation in the first place. To the chagrin of those accepting these defenses, they were never tested because the parties agreed to end the controversy in a $400,000 private settlement.
2011; Nevada; $637,000 Settlement:
A young man was out delivering papers for his company one day when he was involved in a fatal car accident. He was survived by a wife and three children. Those survivors brought a wrongful death claim against the other driver and a workers’ compensation claim against the company the decedent worked for. This suit hardly got off the ground before it settled. The family received $50,000 from the other driver and $587,000 from deceased man’s employer.
2012; Illinois; $95,000 Settlement:
The man at the center of this drama was a heating and air conditioning worker for a company. He was going around and conducting various tasks when he slipped and fell down a ladder. He died from complications relating to these injuries. His wife brought a claim against the company for benefits. She claimed that they should have kept the environment in a better condition, trained him better, and given him more assistance. They denied all of these charges and, instead, offered to pay the decedent’s family almost $100,000. The plaintiffs accepted this figure and the matter never went to trial.
2004; Illinois; $2,664,636 Settlement:
A plumber in his mid-forties was taking down scaffolding six stories up when he accidentally slipped and fell. He died upon impact. He was survived by a wife and three kids. Together they brought a claim against his employer as well as two other defendants (the contractors who erected the scaffolding). The employer did not have much of an argument because the decedent died on the job but the other two defendants claimed that the victim was contributorily negligent and should not have attempted to take down someone else’s scaffolding in the first place. To this, the plaintiffs replied that the defendants negligently erected the scaffold and the employer created an unsafe workplace. The defendants came up with a combined settlement amount of $2,664,636 and the plaintiffs agreed to withdraw their case in acceptance of it.
1995; Rhode Island; $340,950 Settlement:
The plaintiff in this case was a child. His father was a fisherman who died after a lobster bit his finger. The bite soon became infected and spread to his heart and killed him of endocarditis. The child brought a workers’ compensation claim seeking benefits from the employer as his son. The company dodged a lot. They argued that the kid was not even the decedent’s child and that this death was not in the course of his employment. However, after the matter dragged on for over one year, settlement looked more appealing than continued litigation so they offered the child $340,950. The child’s representative accepted.
Attorneys That can Help You in Illinois
An untimely death will shock any family. Our firm makes sure that they are not alone. If you lose a loved one from a work accident, give us a call. We can help. Our team has experience handling these cases. We know what it takes to succeed against big companies. We can work for you on contingency. This means we won’t take a fee if we don’t win. Want to know what you can recover in Illinois? Contact us today.
If you would like to learn about other kinds of injuries sustained by Illinois workers, then please read the following pages: