Wrongful Death vs. Workers’ Compensation
People suffering from mesothelioma other asbestos-related diseases were often exposed to asbestos in their workplace. If products that contain asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, affecting breathing and leading to serious health problems and eventual death. Employees and loved ones are left on their own to find compensation to help pay medical expenses and living expenses.
Can an employer be held liable for asbestos exposure?
An employer’s responsibility for the harm caused by asbestos exposure can be challenging to determine. While most legal claims for asbestos-related health problems arise from workplace-based asbestos exposure, it is hard to file suit against an employer in these kinds of cases in many states. While an employer may or may not be deemed legally at fault, an injured employee can recover from asbestos-related injuries sustained in the workplace.
Difference between Wrongful Death and Workers’ Compensation Lawsuit
There are two ways a mesothelioma patient can receive compensation. (1) Filing a workers’ compensation claim. (2) Filing a wrongful death lawsuit against an asbestos company. Workers’ compensation laws include compensation for asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma. Workers’ compensation claims have to be filed through an employer. Workers’ Compensation laws vary by state. Each state’s laws generally establish compensation amounts based on the type of injury.
Those suffering from mesothelioma can file a Workers’ Compensation claim over asbestos exposure if their illness is job-related.
Potential damages received
All states offer compensation benefits that include medical coverage, temporary or permanent disability, and vocational rehabilitation for workers who might need assistance finding another job.
Workers’ compensation death benefits may consist of a $4,000 burial fee, a weekly cash payment of 75 percent of the deceased worker’s average weekly take-home pay for the 52 weeks preceding the injury up to a statutory maximum, and any medical expenses incurred by the deceased before death, up to maximums specified in a medical fee schedule set by the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
How to file a Mesothelioma Worker’s Compensation Claim
- Before you file a workers’ compensation claim, make sure to seek medical treatment. Some workers’ compensation policies require injured employees to see a specified doctor.
- Ensure you notify your employer about the injury in writing within the statutory deadline, preferably soon after the injury occurs.
- Request a workers’ compensation claim form from your employer or from your state’s workers’ compensation board. You may need to provide the following information on your worker’s compensation claim:
- The type of injury and affected areas of the body
- Date, time, and location of the injury
- Parties involved in the accident
- How the accident occurred
- Any medical treatment you have received
What is a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In some circumstances, a separate lawsuit against an employer may bring in more compensation for an employee than filing through workers’ compensation.
A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit is filed on behalf of someone who died due to contracting malignant mesothelioma. These lawsuits are typically product liability claims against one or more companies that exposed the deceased to asbestos.
Who is eligible to file this type of lawsuit?
Exact eligibility requirements vary by state, but generally, death benefits are reserved for people who were related to the deceased employee by marriage or blood. This relationship includes spouses, children, and other close relatives who lived with and depended on the deceased employee for living expenses.
Potential Damages Received
The decedent’s family can recover the decedent’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering before death. A jury can also award damages in a wrongful death lawsuit for the family’s loss of financial support from the
How to file a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit
To start the lawsuit, you will need to file a complaint or petition with the court stating the case’s factual and legal grounds. Next, you will be required to file a summons to notify the defendant that they are being sued and where the lawsuit will be heard. Subsequently, all defendants are “served” with the relevant documents.
Each state has specific rules about the methods to file complaints or petitions, summons, and service of process, which can be challenging to interpret. If you plan to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, it is a good idea to speak with Goldberg Persky and White. We can help gather the facts and advise you of the best strategy to obtain your rightful compensation. There is no cost to speak to an attorney. Contact us today by filling out our web form or calling 412-471-3980.
Jordan, Laura; Workers’ Compensation (2000) [link]