Death in the Workplace

If death occurs while the decedent was on the job, the right to sue may be different from other wrongful death cases. Under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act, an employee who elects to take workers' compensation does not have a right to sue his or her employer for injuries in the workplace. He or she may, however, sue for damages under common law. Texas Workers' Compensation Commission v. Garcia, 893 S.W.2d 504 (1994).

If a person's death on the job was due to the negligent actions of a third party, Texas's workers' compensation statute allows dependents to pursue a wrongful death suit against the third party, regardless of whether the decedent elected for workers' compensation through his or her employer. Tex. Lab. Code § 417.001.


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