Work injuries can be debilitating and in some cases, may even end in death. Under Workers’ Compensation laws in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, victims of workplace accidents are entitled to benefits regardless of who was at fault. Laws created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) have been put in place to assure safe and healthful working conditions. The standards are set and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency also assists employers through training, outreach, and education.
In 2013, one such fatal work accident resulted in the tragic loss of Michael Massey, an Ocean Township public works employee. The victim was loading a sanitation truck when he was hit by a speeding truck and fatally injured.
In response to this horrific incident and in memoriam to the worker, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill to protect sanitation workers from being injured in accidents involving passing vehicles. Michael Massey’s Law requires drivers to change lanes or move over when sanitation trucks are near. This law expands on the state’s current Move Over Law, which applies to police cars, ambulances, fire trucks and tow trucks.
Recovering Compensation After a Fatal Work Accident
In cases involving a workplace fatality, the injured worker is not the only one who suffers harm. Surviving family members frequently suffer emotional injuries resulting from the loss of companionship and consortium. This is in addition to a multitude of financial losses related to the deceased’s hospital and medical expenses, loss of earnings and funeral expenses. By filing a Workers’ Compensation claim, or a third-party liability claim against the parties responsible for the fatal work accident, surviving family members may be able to receive some type of compensation for these unimaginable losses.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
Comprehensive Workers’ Compensation policies provide dependents of the deceased with certain death benefits in the event of a fatal work accident. Potential claimants include the victim’s spouse and children, and in some cases, siblings or parents. Workers’ Compensation death benefits include weekly payments of up to 70 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage, and up to $3,500 to cover funeral expenses.
Third-Party Liability Claims
If the work accident was caused by the negligent or reckless acts of someone other than the injured worker’s employer or coworker, the family may be able to obtain additional compensation by filing a third-party liability claim against the responsible party. Award amounts recovered through a successful personal injury or product liability lawsuit are frequently much higher than those available through Workers’ Compensation.
Families struggling with the sudden loss of a loved one may be unsure about the legal options available to them. Additionally, insurance companies and employers are rarely forthcoming with the sound advice they need. The compassionate and knowledgeable Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help you sort through the details and get you the compensation you deserve. Our qualified team will handle all your legal needs, including accident investigation, working with experts to determine the cause of the accident, negotiating with insurance companies, engaging in settlement negotiations, and presenting your case at trial if necessary.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Successfully Represent Injured Workers and Their Families
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in a work-related accident, the Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law will review your case and help you determine the best course of legal action. Contact us online, or call 856-414-0010 to schedule a free consultation in our Cherry Hill, New Jersey office.