Can a Death From COVID be Considered a Wrongful Death?
More than 3.1 million people have died as a result of COVID-19. For some, they’ll never know how they contracted the virus, but for others, the source is clear, and they may even have contracted it at work.
If your loved one died due to COVID-19, and the conditions they contracted the virus under were not up to safety protocols, you may be wondering if their passing can be considered a wrongful death.
Can I Sue If My Loved One Died Of COVID-19 They Contracted At Work?
Usually, if someone dies due to an accident or disease contracted at work, the deceased’s worker’s compensation benefit policy will pay out to any living dependents. However, under the worker’s compensation exclusive-remedy rule receiving these benefits terminates the defendant’s right to sue the employer for wrongful death.
However, some states permit lawsuits when an employer committed intentional wrongdoing that caused the death.
In cases such as lack of N-95 masks or other personal protective gear leading to your loved one’s infection, it would be challenging to prove this was intentional wrongdoing on the employer’s behalf.
Even in the case where an employer made cost-cutting decisions not to follow safety protocols, it can still be challenging to prove wrongful death.
Some states allow lawsuits when the employer intended to harm their employees or knew that its actions would cause injury or death. The intentional-wrong exception varies from state to state, allowing survivors to sue for gross negligence when the employer’s actions caused a worker’s death.
What Do I Need To Prove My Loved One Died A Wrongful Death?
In order to successfully prove wrongful death, you and your legal team will need to verify your loved one contracted COVID-19 while at work, as well as your status as a dependant of the deceased.
Who qualifies as a dependent will vary from state to state, but usually only a surviving spouse, children under the age of 18 years old, and certain other close relatives who lived with and depended financially on the employee will qualify for a payout.
How Can I Sue For Wrongful Death If My Loved One Died Of COVID-19?
If your loved one died from a COVID-19 infection they contracted while at work, contact Hyland & Padilla’s legal team right away. We offer free consultations to help you understand your chances of winning a wrongful death case.
We’ve recovered more than $40 million for our clients and have handled more than 7,000 personal injury cases for our clients. We want to provide you with our expertise to win the compensation your family deserves after your tragic loss.