Death on the Job

It’s not something that you see in news headlines or on your social media feeds, but deaths happen on job sites and at places of employment rather often. Of course, there are high-risk jobs such as lineman and the fire department where they understand the risks. But, then there are low-risk jobs that result in disastrous fatalities such as moving metal scaffolding and catching an electrical line. Learn more about death on the job, and how families can resolve these matters right here or by contacting our Charlotte workers’ comp lawyers.

Most Common Fatal Work Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA operates as part of the U.S Department of Labor. Their function is critical to understanding workplace deaths and injuries as they not only provide reports on surveys and gathered information, but they investigate these issues as well.

Basically, when someone dies on a job, if that death is reported properly to OSHA, they will initiate an investigation. During that investigation, they will determine a root cause for the death and determine if there was negligence or preventable factors that could have resulted in a non-fatal accident, or complete avoidance of the accident.

From recent years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with OSHA, have found that there are four primary “accidents” that lead to on-the-job fatalities including:

  • Falls
  • Hit by an object
  • Electrocutions
  • Caught in-between or compression

These four are most often found within the construction industry, or in labor-intense industries, which can make it clear where the risk is in employment. However, most of these deaths do come with OSHA safety violations such as lack of fall protection, machinery guarding, ladder hazards, and lack of necessary safety features such as lock-out, tagout systems.

Does Workers’ Compensation Do Anything About These Claims?

There are some options for families that experienced a loss due to workplace negligence. However, those families must go through various hoops and manage their cases very carefully. For example, the family must submit the case within two years of death, but they must also notify the employer before that.

While it might seem that any on-the-job death would be known o the employer, there are many times when on-the-job deaths receive a “natural causes” or “unknown” cause of death. For example, if a roofer were working on a roof in the North Carolina summer heat and overexerted themselves by lifting, pulling, or otherwise, then the cause of death may have been heart attack from overexertion.

In situations such as this, it’s clear that the employer may not have to payout on workers’ compensation. But, that overexertion was likely avoidable and a result of workplace neglect. Families will often realize that they can submit workers’ compensation claims after the death and notification of death with the employer.

The benefits for a death on the job vary widely based on the case, the extent of negligence, medical expenses related to the death, funeral expenses, and more.

Who Makes Claims for the Deceased?

The claimant is most often a spouse, parent, or adult child. Without any of these presents, then you would have to go through a long line to determine the surviving heir. It’s also worth saying that the further you get away from a direct connection, the less likely it is to have a successful claim.

Should the Family Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?

If the death was an accident or resulted from an accident that took place at work, then yes, the family should pursue some legal action. It could include and stop with a worker’s compensation claim for funeral and medical expenses. Or, the family could also pursue a wrongful death claim where they may have access to pursue pain and suffering, grievances, and more.

Contacting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in North Carolina for More information

Deaths and fatal accidents that happen either on a job site or because of the type of work always require special handling. Your loved one may have gone through extensive medical treatment before passing away. With medical bills, collectors, and funeral expenses, a tragic family loss will quickly become even worse.

Get in touch with a Charlotte attorney at 1Charlotte Injury Lawyers that handle wrongful death, or worker’s compensation to understand the details of your case. Talking with a North Carolina attorney is the best way to start taking steps towards resolution for the financial elements of your loss. If this is not within the realm of workers’ compensation, then an attorney can likely direct you and your family into the direction of a Charlotte attorney that can help.