What to Do If a Family Member Dies at Work
Know Exactly What Occurred and How it Occurred
It is important to collect all of the details regarding the incident which caused the fatality to occur at work. Inquiring with the supervisor and others who were present at the time of the incident will help provide more information about the fatal incident. Family members should also ask for copies of the incident report which will provide explicit details on circumstances surrounding the death of their loved one.
Determine if Workers’ Compensation Coverage is Provided for Family Members
The family members of the employee who was killed on the job should determine if they will receive some type of benefits via workers’ compensation insurance coverage purchased by the employer. This can be determined by asking the employer about their coverage and how such coverage will affect them in the case of the loss of a loved one while on the job. The workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect the family members should their loved one be fatally wounded at their place of employment.
Determine if Outside Parties Are Also Responsible
The workers’ compensation benefits to family members may be limited in some respects. It is important to determine if outside parties were also to blame for the death of the family member. If so, the family may have a claim against the other parties who are not involved with the workers’ compensation issue. Hiring an attorney will help to make this determination much easier.
Retain an Attorney
It is very important to retain an attorney. An attorney will help the family members obtain documents and ensure that the proper protocals are followed. If you already have an attorney, ask them if they have worked on cases involving workplace fatalities. If the attorney is unfamiliar with these types of cases, ask for a referral to one that is.
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