If I Lose a Family Member in a Construction Accident, What Should I Do?
WNCN-TV reported on a story in late November involving a fatal construction accident in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Per the report, while a construction worker was operating a piece of excavating equipment near Stewart Creek, the machine fell over and threw him into the creek. The construction worker was repairing a bridge that washed away during Hurricane Matthew.
An investigation revealed that the excavating machine tipped over, because the ground beneath it collapsed. Following the construction accident, emergency responders were called to the scene. Divers searched the creek for the construction worker for hours before eventually finding his body. He worked for the construction company for 13 years and was a water resources crew leader. Reportedly, it had been almost 50 years since one of the company’s workers had died on the job. A resident of that neighborhood where the incident happened said that the waterfront is unstable and has been for years, reporting that he was the victim of similar accident while on his riding lawnmower.
Can Workers’ Comp Help Families If a Loved One Dies in a Construction Accident?
Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one. However, if a family member dies due to a workplace injury, his or her surviving relatives may have multiple options to get the financial help they need to begin rebuilding their lives. One option could be workers’ compensation, which may provide the family of the deceased with benefits to cover:
- Lost wages
- Hospital bills
- Funeral costs
- Other expenses
Another option could be to file a third party claim, which is a type of personal injury lawsuit. If a worker is hurt or killed on the job and it’s not due to the fault of his or her employer or a co-worker, but instead a third party, such as a contractor, then the injured employee or his survivors may be able to file a third party claim.
To learn more about what to do following an on-the-job injury or death, please visit our workers’ comp information page.