Workers’ Compensation Death Claims
Anyone who has ever worked in the field of commercial or residential construction knows how physically demanding such occupations can be. Exposure to the elements, operating potentially dangerous power tools, being near large construction machinery, and working high above the ground can all pose serious hazards for construction workers.
Every week, all across the U.S., residential and commercial building sites are the scene of tragic fatal accidents involving tradespeople, construction contractors and other building professionals. On average, approximately 900 fatal job-related accidents affect those in the construction industry every year. Here in New Jersey, one-quarter of all work-related deaths are in the construction trades.
Although fatal on-the-job accidents happen infrequently happen infrequently here in the Garden State, when a worker is killed, that victim’s family must deal with the aftermath, often with great difficulty due not only to the emotional impact of the loss, but also because of the serious financial implications that inevitably follow.
Commercial and residential construction accidents not only take the lives of hundreds of workers every year in this country, they can throw even the most organized families into a spiral of grief and financial chaos. This is especially true when the victim was either the sole breadwinner for the family, or he or she contributed a significant amount to the family’s income. Either way, state-mandated workers’ compensation insurance can provide some financial recovery for the surviving spouse and dependent children.
Death Claims for Construction Accidents
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our legal team has decades of collective experience representing families of those construction workers who have died on the job because of a work-related accident.
When it comes to handling death claims for families of deceased construction workers, our skilled attorneys have the training to see that victims’ survivors recover the benefits due them under the law. The following is a brief list of the types of fatal jobsite accidents that often trigger workers’ compensation death benefits in New Jersey:
— Scaffolding failures
— Collapsed floors
— Fallen construction cranes
— Ladder accidents
— Injuries caused intentionally by other workers
— Heavy machinery accidents
— Fatal power saw and nail gun injuries
— Worksite electrocution accidents
— Contact with or immersion in caustic or toxic chemicals
— Being struck by backhoes or excavator buckets
Though workers face the threat of construction site accidents on a daily basis, many fatal injuries could likely have been prevented with the application of basic safety measures and proper worksite safety procedures. It is an accepted fact that general contractors or construction supervisors are responsible for enforcing and maintaining a certain level of safety on the jobsite.
Construction companies have a responsibility to properly train their employees. Similarly, the companies that manufacture machinery and other construction equipment must also provide proper warnings and operating instructions to ensure that these machines are used correctly and as designed.
Although survivors are not permitted to sue the victim’s employer when workers’ comp insurance covers the deceased’s death benefits, if there was other individual or company at fault in regard to your loved one’s death, a third-party lawsuit may be in order. For those instances where a third-party is suspected of having caused or partially contributed to the victims’ death, our legal team may recommend pursuing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party(s).
When safety standards have not been met, or when machine/equipment design leads to a hazardous condition resulting in death, survivors may be able to sue a third-party — such as a contracting company or machinery manufacturer — for damages.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Help
Our skilled attorneys can help with the survivor claims process. New Jersey Workers’ compensation attorney, Daniel Santarsiero, Esq., has a great deal of experience in helping wives, husbands, children and other dependents recover death benefits due them under the laws of the State of New Jersey. Place a call to our law offices at (877) 450-8301 so that we may set up a free, no-obligation consultation to go over your case.
Heavy machinery itself poses many threats to the health and well being of construction workers, especially on commercial jobsites. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a heavy machinery work accident, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can guide you through workers’ comp process as well as provide aggressive representation should your claim be denied or disputed.
Because construction workers often operate heavy machinery, or work in close proximity to dangerous earthmoving and excavating equipment, the chances of a fatal construction site accident are always quite high. This is one of the many reasons why construction is the most dangerous industry in the U.S. Although heavy equipment is frequently used in other industries such as farming, manufacturing and mining, among others, New Jersey construction workers can frequently suffer many potentially deadly injuries due to:
— Entanglement in machinery
— Severe burns
— Compound fractures
— Entrapment or being crushed beneath equipment
Even when used correctly by skilled operators there is still opportunity for injury or death when working near these large machines, but without proper operational and safety training, the odds of a fatal accident rise significantly. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we understand the risks that workers face and the tragic results of poor safety procedures or insufficient training.
Because heavy machinery is easily capable of killing a construction worker or tradesman, when an employer fails to properly inspect, maintain or repair an excavator, backhoe, bulldozer, road grader or other large machine, an accident may be just around the corner. Furthermore, even when machinery is new or well maintained, a defective part or component can lead to malfunction and possible fatal injuries to one or more people.
When wrongful death is indicated, our experienced attorneys can file a third-party lawsuit to recover additional damages for the victim’s family. As skilled workers’ compensation death claims attorneys, our legal staff has the training to determine if a victim’s family can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer of a defective piece of construction equipment that led to the death of a worker.
Survivor Benefit Claims
With very few exceptions, New Jersey employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance by law (or be approved for self-insurance). By law, when a construction worker or skilled tradesman is killed on the job, death benefits are automatically triggered through workers’ comp, which is a kind of “no fault” insurance program that provides benefits regardless of who caused the fatal accident.
Unfortunately, while families of victims killed in New Jersey construction site accidents naturally assume that their workers’ comp death claim will be processed quickly and efficiently, it is not uncommon for insurance companies to deny valid claims in order to protect their own profits. For this reason alone it is recommended that surviving spouses and dependent family members retain professional legal help.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a fatal construction or industrial accident, it is important to fully understand what the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act provides in terms of recovering death benefits. Understanding your rights to survivor benefits is very important for those who have lost a breadwinner in a tragic job-related workplace accident.
Survivors who may qualify for death benefits following a loved one’s fatal workplace-related accident include:
— Civil union partner
— Natural children (up to 18 years old; 23 years for full-time students)
— Parents, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc.
Survivors claiming death benefits must prove actual dependency at the time of the worker’s death. Physically or mentally handicapped dependent children may be eligible for additional benefits under the law. New Jersey workers’ compensation rules also require the employer or the employer’s insurance carrier to pay as much as $3,500 for funeral expenses for any worker who suffers a job-related death.
Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help surviving spouses and dependent children recover the death benefits due them under the laws of the State of New Jersey. If you live in Hunterdon, Monmouth, Union, Atlantic, Hudson or one of the nearly two dozen counties in the Garden State, our legal team is ready, willing and able to assist you in filing for workers’ compensation death benefits, as well as pursuing any third-party lawsuits that may be indicated.
Whether your loved one died due to physical trauma on the job site or occupational exposure to hazardous or cancer-causing agents, we suggest that you contact Mr. Santarsiero at (877) 450-8301 to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our legal team can help you recover death benefits to ease the financial burden resulting from the victim’s medical expenses prior to death, funeral/burial costs, as well as lost income.
After your initial meeting with one of our attorneys, you may choose to retain our law firm. However, because we work for our clients on a contingent fee basis, no legal fees will be charged to you unless we make a recovery on your behalf. As experts in workers’ comp death claims, we can help guide you through the claims process so that you and your family can receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
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CONTACT A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW ATTORNEY
At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall located in Freehold, Trenton, Toms River, Paterson, New Brunswick, Jersey City, Hackettstown, and Somerville our workers compensation attorneys and staff are committed to helping employees injured on the job, whether as a result of workplace accidents or occupational diseases. If you have been injured in a workplace accident it is important to have a lawyer review your claim to see that you are being treated fairly and to ensure that you receive full compensation for your injury claim. Please call 877-450-8301 or e-mail our office to arrange a free consultation.