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When Deceased Workers Families can Sue for Wrongful Death

A utility worker in Taylorsville, North Carolina was recently killed while cutting a tree away from a downed power line, according to Typically, injuries and fatalities that happen on the job are covered by workers’ compensation benefits, and filing a lawsuit is not possible. Workers’ compensation benefits pay for medical costs and wage replacement, or death benefits and funeral costs, but the deceased worker’s family cannot collect pain and suffering or loss of joy of life damages, which usually amount to much more than what workers’ compensation would ever provide. However, in some circumstances it may be possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer when the death was caused by the employer’s egregious conduct. To find out more, contact a High Point wrongful death attorney at once.

Did the Employer Display Egregious Misconduct or Intent?

Up until 1991, an injured worker, or a deceased worker’s family, could not file a lawsuit against an employer. However, that all changed in the landmark case of Woodson v. Rowland 407 S.E.2d 222 (1991), in which the worker’s family successfully sued the employer. The employer had neglected to build a trench wall, a contraption that keeps a trench from collapsing. The trench caved in and buried the man alive. The court found that the employer’s misconduct was egregious. The employer knew that a trench wall was necessary to protect their employees, yet purposefully did not build one, which resulted in a death. If your loved one perished because of an employer’s egregious misconduct, such as failing to provide safety equipment or failing to take normal precautions, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, if an employer caused an intentional injury or wrongful death, they can both be held responsible for civil damages, but also face criminal punishment as well.

Call a High Point Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help Today

If you were injured by your employer’s egregious misconduct, or your loved one lost his or her life due to an employer’s egregious neglect, we encourage you to reach out for legal help today. The personal injury and wrongful death attorneys of McAllister, Aldridge & Kreinbrink, PLLC provide experienced legal counsel for maximum financial compensation. We always put our client’s best interest and goals first, and never stop advocating on their behalf.

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