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Workers’ compensation death benefits could help families

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workers’ Compensation on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.

As wildfires continue to rage across western areas of the United States, three fire fighters paid the ultimate price while working to protect their communities. While some careers might come with more inherent risk than others, this does not make any serious workplace injury or death any less tragic. For surviving family members in Illinois, death benefits through the workers’ compensation system can be invaluable for addressing the damages created by their loved one’s loss.

The conditions at the front line of the out-of-state fires were described as unpredictable, with shifts in the winds driving the racing fire. The fire had become so dangerous that a nearby town had been advised to evacuate until fire fighters were able to gain control of the blaze. Tragically, during a planned attack operation, the vehicle carrying the three fire fighters wrecked. Soon, it was overcome by flames.

Officials in the area have expressed a deep sense of grief over the lives that were lost as well as an immense amount of gratitude for their actions. Aside from the three deaths, four other fire fighters in the area were seriously injured while fighting the oncoming burn. Officials did not say whether those injured were passengers in the wrecked vehicle, or if they were hurt in a separate incident.

Fire fighters, police officers and construction and workers all face especially dangerous work environments that can result in catastrophic or even fatal injuries. Although workers’ compensation benefits are typically associated with surviving but injured workers, options exist for the Illinois families of workers who were killed on the job. While temporary, death benefits are often the key to bridging the gap between the devastating loss of a loved one and moving forward from the tragedy.

Source: whig.com, “3 firefighters die in wildfire after vehicle crashes“, Ted S. Warren and Gene Johnson, Aug. 19, 2015

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