Your family deserves full and fair compensation!
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a frightening and chaotic experience, and especially so when it is discovered that the underlying accident could and should have been prevented.
If you have lost a loved one in a preventable workplace accident, you may have the right to seek justice and compensation through the civil justice system, rather than workers’ compensation. However, the unique facts of your case will determine what rights and legal options you have.
Our San Jose wrongful death attorneys at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP are passionate about protecting the rights of families who suffer tragic and innumerable consequences following the death of their loved ones.
With experience handling claims of negligence, we can help you understand whether you may have a valid wrongful death lawsuit, and help you seek a recovery of your damages.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits & Workplace Accidents
Most employers in the state of California are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This no-fault insurance is intended to provide workers who suffer injuries while performing job-related duties, as well as families who lose loved ones in workplace accidents, with medical and financial benefits – regardless of who is at fault.
Because the workers’ comp system operates on a system that does not take fault into consideration, there may be situations where families can seek justice and compensation outside of workers’ compensation in order to hold negligent parties accountable, and recover the full scope of their damages.
These wrongful death lawsuits are filed in civil court, and they may be pursued in connection to fatal workplace accidents under certain circumstances involving negligence, typically when it involves a third party other than the employer.
A Negligent Third Party Caused Death
Families may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one’s death resulted from the negligent or wrongful acts of a third party, meaning a party who was not the worker’s direct employer. Commonly, these suits are filed against contractors that may have worked with the employer, but can include a number of various situations.
- Fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles not owned by employer, such as trucks delivering supplies to another business
- Third party contractors performing work on the same job site as worker, and who cause fatal accidents as a result of negligence
- Non-employee motorists who cause fatal accidents, including those involving workers performing job-related duties near or on roadways, or workers driving company vehicles
- Public utilities or services whose negligence led to preventable accidents
- Workers involved in fatal accidents while performing job-related duties on a premises owned by another person or company. Those property owners may be held civilly liable if they failed to address potential hazards they knew or should have known about.
- Workers killed by defective products, equipment, machinery, or auto parts
- Toxic exposure leading to fatal illnesses
Due to California laws regarding workers’ compensation, families are generally unable to file wrongful death lawsuits if only the victim’s employer was negligent. That’s because these claims are generally handled in the workers’ comp system.
However, there may be some cases, such as those involving egregious acts of negligence, criminal activity, or intentional misconduct, where civil wrongful death suits against an employer may be permitted. Additionally, employers may be held partially at fault and civilly liable if their negligence and the negligence of a third party contributed to an employee’s death.
Helping Families Understand their Rights
By bringing your case to the attention of our legal team, you can learn more about your specific situation and whether you have grounds to seek legal action in civil court, or through workers’ compensation.
Our legal professionals at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP have dedicated their careers to helping families during the most strenuous times in their lives, and we are readily available to listen to your story. Trust in a team of award-winning lawyers who have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of clients throughout San Jose and the surrounding areas of California.