If death occurs while the decedent was on the job, the right to sue may change. Under the West Virginia’s Worker’s Compensation Act, an employee who elects to take worker’s compensation does not have a right to sue his or her employer for injuries in the workplace.Wisman v. William J. Rhodes & Shamblin Stone, Inc., 191 W. Va. 542, 447 S.E.2d 5 (1994). If the decedent accepts worker’s compensation and gives up the right to sue, beneficiaries or surviving relatives also cannot sue for wrongful death. Wisman v. William J. Rhodes & Shamblin Stone, Inc., 191 W. Va. 542, 447 S.E.2d 5 (1994).
If a person’s death on the job was due to the negligent actions of a third party, however, West Virginia’s worker’s compensation statute allows dependents to pursue a wrongful death suit against the third party, regardless of whether the decedent elected for worker’s compensation through his or her employer. W. Va. Code § 23-2A-1.
In all matters involving personal injury it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the Statute of Limitations. If you or a loved one is a victim of personal injuries, call Hamstead, Williams & Shook P.L.L.C. now at 888 – 298 – 2529. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a Contingent Fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.