Home / Blog / Can I File a Lawsuit if My Spouse Dies in a Work Accident?

According to the latest statistics from the Indiana Department of Labor, there were 158 fatal workplace accidents in the state in 2020. Causes of workplace deaths vary significantly, from slips and falls to chemical exposure and vehicle accidents. In many wrongful death cases, a third-party entity plays a part in causing the victims’ fatal injury.

Workers’ compensation can cover some damages from a workplace accident, but a third-party liability claim is often a more effective route to recovering damages in a wrongful death case, because it allows you to also get compensation for your pain and suffering as well. If your spouse dies in a work accident that wasn’t their fault, filing a lawsuit against the responsible third party may allow you to get the full compensation you deserve for your loss.

However, unlike workers’ compensation, third-party liability cases depend on your ability to prove negligence. An Indiana work death lawyer from Wagner Reese can help you earn restitution after losing a loved one.

Third-Party Liability

Third-party liability is where a person or organization separate from the workplace or employer causes the injury or death. This type of incident is more common than you might think. Responsible parties in a third-party liability case may include:

Contractors and subcontractors

Many professions involve working alongside contractors or subcontractors regularly. If your spouse worked in construction or mining, they likely performed alongside contract workers every day. If one of these contractors or subcontractors caused an accident that led to your spouse’s death, you might hold them liable in a wrongful death case.

Equipment manufacturers

Contact with equipment and machinery was the fourth leading cause of Indiana workplace fatalities in 2020. Manufacturing defects can cause equipment to malfunction, leading to accidents and injuries. This type of accident is most common in environments where workers use large equipment and heavy machinery.

If faulty equipment is the primary cause of your spouse’s death, you may be able to make a claim against the liable manufacturer or supplier.

Property owners

If your spouse suffered an accident while working on someone else’s property, the property owner might be liable. Worksites must be free of occupational hazards, ensuring the safety of all workers. Our attorneys can investigate worksite conditions to determine if property owner negligence contributed to your spouse’s death.

Vehicle operators

Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate byproduct of the transportation industry. If your spouse was involved in a fatal traffic accident caused by a third-party driver, we can help you file a claim directly against the individual at fault.

Damages You May Be Entitled To

A third-party liability case allows you to claim economic and non-economic damages regarding the death of your loved one. This allowance means you can recover out-of-pocket costs relating to your spouse’s funeral expenses or medical bills and compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional loss.

In Indiana, the deceased’s legal representative, typically their spouse, must file a third-party wrongful death lawsuit to pursue damages. Your first step should be to hire the services of a wrongful death attorney at Wagner Reese. Navigating a wrongful death case can be highly demanding, so using an experienced legal team is imperative for a successful suit.

Economic damages

Economic damages include expenses you had to pay due to the accident, including medical bills, the cost of medications, and funeral expenses. It also accounts for the loss of income and the loss of future earnings.

We can use expert economists to provide a professional assessment of your spouse’s financial standing to determine what the total economic damages should be. There is no limit on economic damages for spouses in a wrongful death case.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages refer to the compensation owed due to psychological or emotional loss, like loss of companionship. These damages are subjective, so hiring an experienced lawyer is crucial to getting you compensation equal to your loss. There is no cap on non-economic damages for spouses of the deceased in a wrongful death case.

Fight for the Rights of Your Loved Ones with Wagner Reese

Nothing can truly replace the loss of a loved one. However, Wagner Reese can help you recover the compensation you deserve to help you cope with your loss. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys work hard to restore financial stability for you and your family by pursuing the maximum available compensation for your loved one’s passing.

We have successfully handled high-profile cases, recovering millions of dollars worth of compensation for our clients. Significant winnings include a $6.5 million lawsuit involving a wrongful death truck accident and a $2.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of our client’s husband in a bicycle accident.

With over two decades of experience fighting for our client’s rights, our wrongful death attorneys provide you with the legal support you need to make it through this challenging time. Contact Wagner Reese today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.