Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Jul 23, 2010 in Workers' Compensation
When someone is killed while on the job in Arizona, most people would assume that there are workers' compensation benefits available to the surviving family from the state. While this is true and accurate, it is also possible in certain situations for the surviving family members to file an Arizona wrongful death claim against the party or parties responsible for the loss of life. While this issue should be clarified with the help of experienced Phoenix wrongful death lawyers, below you'll find a brief overview of the issue.
Most situations in which someone is killed in the workplace limit the benefits that can be obtained by the family to workers' compensation benefits. However, there are instances where the surviving family can file a workers' compensation claim and an Arizona wrongful death claim, as these are seen as completely separate issues. Generally, if the worker was killed by a third party, meaning someone who did not work for the same company as the one that employed the worker who was killed, it's allowable to look into an Arizona workers' compensation claim. Filing an Arizona wrongful death claim can also be possible if the working conditions were so unreasonably dangerous that someone had to have been negligent or reckless to allow anyone to be present.
Aside from when it's possible to pursue both a workers' compensation claim and an Arizona wrongful death lawsuit, there are important differences that exist between the potential damages that can be collected for each type of case or claim. For instance, state law specifically dictates how much in terms of benefits the surviving family members will receive and for how long. However, an Arizona wrongful death claim that's successful can also provide a family with damages that include lost income, compensation for medical, funeral and burial expenses as well as less tangible forms of damages including loss of companionship and emotional distress.
In addition, the burden of proof is much different between these two types of claims. In terms of workers' compensation, little proof is required. An Arizona wrongful death claim must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant or defendants were negligent in order for the surviving family members to recover damages. Basically, these types of determinations should be made with the help of personal injury lawyers in Phoenix who have been successfully fighting for the rights of suffering families for many years. If you have lost someone you love in the workplace, contact Phillips Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.
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