Millions of families across the country bid a family member goodbye each day as he or she leaves for their shift at work. These families fully expect that their loved one will return to them in the same condition that they left -- healthy and alive. Unfortunately, a workplace accident resulting in serious injury or death is possible, potentially leaving a family grieving and in a precarious financial situation. One family in Illinois is likely wondering how they will cope with the emotional and financial consequences of the loss of their loved one after a fatal accident took his life.
A 33-year-old man was an employee of PTC Alliance, a company that makes and distributes steel tubing. He was reportedly discovered on the ground at approximately 4 a.m. on May 19. Reports indicate that he was hit in the head by steel tubing, resulting in a serious head injury.
Although he was transported to an area hospital for treatment, he died soon after he was initially discovered. His death has been ruled an accident. In most workplace fatalities, an investigation is conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in an effort to determine the exact cause of the accident.
While an OSHA investigation may provide the family with some answers as to how the man died, it will not help with the financial difficulties that may exist as a result of his death. Fortunately, Illinois requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees in the event of a workplace accident. If a fatality occurs, these benefits -- which include coverage of medical bills, lost wages and funeral expenses -- typically extend to dependent family members. However, the procedures and laws surrounding such benefits may be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with them, and there is help available to pursue the appropriate compensation.
Source: Southtown Star, "Homewood man killed in industrial accident in Chicago Heights", , May 20, 2014