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Can work-related deaths qualify for a wrongful death suit?

Most everyone has to work a regular job in order to support themselves or their family financially. This is a fact of life for most Pittsburgh residents, so that's why it is so awful to hear when a resident in our community died why working on the job. This can happen any number of ways, especially considering the number of professions and the variations of work that could be performed by a worker. Most often, work-related deaths occur in a traffic accident.

There are many jobs that require travel for work. Whether a salesman in a company car or a construction worker hauling a pay-load there are many professionals that require their employees to travel. It can be found that there was negligent behavior on behalf of the employer in an employee's work-related death if certain circumstances are met. For example, if a company vehicle was not properly maintenance and that directly led to an employee's traffic death - this could constitute negligent behavior on behalf of the employer.

This could culminate into a wrongful death suit. Wrongful death suits aim at putting responsibility on an appropriate party for their negligent involvement in a person's death. A lower threshold of proof exists for wrongful death suits in comparison to criminal suits. This means it is easier to prove fault or negligent in cases of injury in comparison to criminal cases.

This fact does not mean that both a criminal and a civil suit can't be sought in favor of the plaintiff. It just means that wrongful death suits are easier to prove. A criminal conviction in connection with a worker's death could be found to be very useful to those also seeking a wrongful death suit. It could be the 'smoking gun' the family is looking for when seeking reparation for their loved one's death.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Wrongful death resources," Accessed Aug. 1, 2016

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