Where a man dies in a workplace accident, his family is typically entitled to the wage payments and other benefits prescribed by Illinois state law. Each state has a system of workers’ compensation laws that provides compensation for injured workers and death benefits to the families of those who were killed in a workplace accident. In some restricted instances, an injured worker or a deceased worker’s estate may also have a third-party tort claim for traditional personal injury damages from a workplace accident.
The basic premise of workers’ compensation is that the worker cannot sue the employer for negligence in causing the worker’s injury. In return, the system is ideally supposed to respond quickly and effectively in providing all of the medical and lost wages benefits prescribed by law. However, it doesn’t always work that way, and sometimes the worker or his or her family must retain a workers’ compensation attorney to file the requisite claim forms and compel the defendant employer to comply with its legal obligations.
In an accident in Massachusetts, a worker died recently in a forklift accident at a pharmaceutical company’s warehouse. He was pinned between the forklift and a shelving unit and essentially crushed. The worker was pronounced dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital. It is irrelevant whether the worker or the employer were negligent in causing the accident. Under workers’ compensation laws, a workplace accident must be compensated.
In this case, funeral expenses, burial costs, ambulance and lost wages provided by law will be paid pursuant to Illinois law. If there is a problem in that respect, or if the family wants to negotiate for a lump-sum settlement at some point, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be consulted for representation. In some instances, additional damages may be available if the workplace accident involved the negligence of a third party, or a defective product attributed to parties other than the employer. In such cases, it may be beneficial for the family to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to make an investigation of all aspects of the worker’s death to see whether any other actions may be available.
Source: enterprisenews.com, “Company where Brockton man died in accident cited for workplace violations in past“, Benjamin Paulin, Dec. 10, 2015
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