The Necessity of Death Benefits in Workers’ Compensation

CraneA recent story from the Boston Herald detailing a crane accident in Bourne portrays a tragic event. The story concerns two 34-year old men, John Loughan Jr. and Joseph L. Boyd, who were killed in an accident. On April 13, 2014, the men were working on high-tension electrical wires. The men were in a crane that was attached to a boom truck. The boom truck somehow toppled over and both men fell more than 100 feet, dying instantly. The state police, the Bourne police, the district attorney’s office, and the Occupation Safety and Health Administration are currently investigating how the truck managed to tip over.

Why is workers’ compensation important?

The event speaks to the perilous and hazardous work conditions that were customary for these men in their occupation. And without taking from what can only be considered a tragic occurrence, these are the types of incidents that make workers’ compensation requisite. The intention of workers’ compensation is to provide workers with some type of insurance to protect them when they may work under dangerous conditions. Without such protections for workers, it is easy to imagine a system in which workers are forced to perform dangerous jobs and are simply replaced when they are injured with little regard to how they can adequately provide for their family. At its best, workers’ compensation seeks to provide a fair balance so that people who are injured while working will be able to support and sustain themselves and their families while their injuries heal adequately.

What protections are available in Massachusetts?

A document from the Massachusetts government explains the benefits that accrue to family members when an employee dies due to their work. For example, if an employee dies in the nature of his work, his family is entitled to two-thirds of his weekly wage for the limit established by the state of Massachusetts. However, these benefits only continue as long as the spouse remains unmarried. And even if the spouse were to remarry, the state has legislated that the children will still receive $60 a week. These benefits also to extend to people without legal documentation to reside in the United States.

The Importance of an Attorney

If you are a victim of an injury while working, you have the right to obtain workers’ compensation from your employer. Even if you believe that you can handle the procedures alone, it is better for an attorney to advise you. If a person incorrectly files the information, it can lead to a host of delays. An attorney will make sure that you receive as much as you are entitled as soon as possible.

What happened in Bourne is a tragedy, but you should be informed of your protections should you or your family find yourself in a similar situation. If you have any questions regarding workers’ compensation, you should contact the Sheehan Law Firm. They have a strong and pristine record in the field of workers’ compensation and can help you today.

Photo Credit: josemanuelerre via Compfight cc

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