In early December, a 29-year-old worker was killed by industrial equipment at Nickles Bakery in Belmont County. While details of the accident are yet to be released, several news outlets have reported that he was trapped underneath a piece of falling equipment. By the time the emergency responders arrived on the scene, the worker was dead. OSHA is conducting an investigation into the accident, and Belmont County’s Critical Incident Response Team has offered their services to witnesses and employees who are suffering emotional distress due to the accident.
Workers’ compensation and on-the-job accidents
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) typically covers on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation benefits do not require a worker (or their surviving family) to prove whether or not someone acted negligently to cause the accident. They simply determine whether the injury happened on the job, the extent of the injuries and which benefits the worker is eligible to receive.
Benefits may include medical expenses, partial or total temporary disability, death benefits and more.
Workers’ compensation death benefits
The BWC will pay benefits to a deceased worker’s surviving family, if the accident causing their death happened on the job. Eligible family members include the surviving spouse, dependent children under 18, dependent children age 18 to 25 who are attending an accredited educational institution full-time, dependent children over 18 who are physically or mentally incapacitated, and certain other dependent family members.
These benefits are usually paid on an ongoing basis, and may include final medical expenses, funeral expenses up to $5,500 and more.
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can review your claim and help you apply for death benefits. We can also ensure that you get the maximum benefits available to your family, and handle any necessary additional documentation or appeals.
Third party lawsuits
Generally, you cannot file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and sue your employer at the same time. However, there are certain exceptions. Injured workers or their surviving family may sue the employer for an intentional tort (although this can be very difficult to prove).
If the accident was caused by a third party, such as a subcontractor, vendor, equipment manufacturer, toxic substance or another driver in a car accident, the worker or their family may be able to file a personal injury claim against the third party, in addition to filing for workers’ compensation.
Call an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer today
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can help you with your workers’ compensation claim. If you were injured on the job, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.