Blog banner

Difference Between Workers’ Compensation and Wrongful Death Claims

January 15, 2020

Injuries can happen at work every day, regardless of occupation, but what if those injuries result in death? The last thing a family would think about is monetary compensation for the death of their loved one, but if that loved one is their main source of income, there are different options that the family must consider.

The biggest difference between a workers’ compensation claim and a wrongful death claim is the amount a family can receive for compensation. Certain state laws prevent a family to sue for more damages after the death of a loved one if a workers’ compensation claim was filed. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system and provides benefits to a worker who suffered workplace injuries. Under workers’ compensation, the employee cannot sue the employer for negligence. A wrongful death claim is different because a family must prove the following:

  • The family suffered loss of quality of life or emotional support.
  • The employer was negligent in the death of their loved one. For example, misplaced warning signs around a machine that caused the death of a factory worker may be considered negligence.
  • The family member who died was a major source of income to the family.

Survival Claims

Similar to a wrongful death claim, the family of a deceased worker may also consider filing a survival claim. With a survival claim, the family must prove the following scenarios:

  • The employer was negligent in the worker’s death.
  • If the worker survived the incident at first, but eventually succumbed to those injuries, the employer is responsible for the pain and suffering and does not escape those charges because of the death.
  • The employer must pay for the damages caused by the pain and suffering to the deceased estate.

It could take years for a worker to succumb to injuries suffered at work. Many workers’ compensation and wrongful death laws differ by state. In New Jersey, a statute of limitations law allows a family two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit against an employer; workers’ compensation laws vary as well but are more for the employer’s insurance company to decide the time limit.

Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Help Families of Deceased Workers

Following the death of a loved one, a family may have several questions. Only a knowledgeable legal team can help you sort through those difficulties. If you lost a family member in a work accident, contact the Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP. Our experienced team will obtain the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Call us today at 856-761-3773 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Pennsauken, Maple Shade, Delran, and Cinnaminson.

SJ Top Attorneys New Jersey Association for Justice NJSBA NJ Supreme Court Certified Burlington Bar Association Camden County Bar Association

©2021 Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP - All Rights Reserved. - Site Map | Legal | Privacy Policy

Attorney Advertising Materials. Christopher J. Saracino is responsible for the content of this website. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.