For many people, going to work is a necessity of life. The paycheck that is earned helps put food on the table and pay bills. Unfortunately, even though most employers go to great lengths to ensure the safety of their employees, accidents can happen. Workers -- or their family in the case of a fatality -- in Illinois and elsewhere likely qualify for workers' compensation benefits in the event of a work injury.
The family of one man may be entitled to such benefits after he recently lost his life due to an accident he was involved in while employed at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor. Reports indicate that the man fell into a vat of scalding water in Feb. 2014. He was transported to an Illinois hospital for treatment.
Unfortunately, almost a month after the accident, the man died from his injuries. An autopsy revealed that his death was a result of complications related to thermal injuries and was ruled an accident. Several different agencies have initiated investigations into the man's death, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Public records indicate that the company was cited in the past for violations regarding the death of a worker in 2009.
While the investigations initiated in the aftermath of the man's death may prevent a similar work injury in the future, the man's family is likely coping with the devastating consequences of his death. In addition to funeral expenses and the loss of his income, the bills from the lengthy period of treatment preceding his death are likely astronomical. Fortunately, workers' compensation benefits should provide relief for these expenses. In Illinois as well as other jurisdictions, such benefits generally extend to the worker's dependents in the case of a fatality. Nevertheless, the path to compensation is often complicated and requires knowledge of state laws in order to ensure adequate and timely compensation.
Source: Post-Tribune, "Fatally scalded mill worker 'will be greatly missed'", , March 25, 2014