A fatal construction accident could result in surviving family members recovering death benefits available through Workers’ Compensation. However, there may be circumstances in which filing a wrongful death claim may be warranted, such as learning the victim’s fatal injuries were caused by a third party’s negligent actions, which Algonquin families should discuss with a personal injury attorney.
Benefits Available through Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ Compensation can provide a variety of benefits related to funeral expenses and income. In Illinois, the amount available for burial and funeral costs is $8,000.
Survivors’ benefits are based on 66 2/3 percent of the employee’s gross average weekly earnings. That income is the amount earned during the 52 weeks prior to the fatal injury, with minimum and maximum limits that may apply.
Currently, the minimum amount that can be received is $495.01 per week, and the maximum is $1,320.03 per week. However, these limits are subject to change, so it may be a good idea to discuss the most recent amounts with an attorney.
Unfortunately, these benefits may not be nearly enough to cover the financial burden with which a family can be left following a fatal construction accident. In that case, there may be other legal options, such as filing a lawsuit against a third party.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit after a Construction Accident
Employers who offer Workers’ Compensation benefits to injured workers or families of deceased workers may not be sued for injury or wrongful death. Workers’ Compensation benefits – compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses and two-thirds average wages – prevent workers or their families from filing a lawsuit.
However, if a fatal construction accident was the result of a third party’s negligence, families of workers who die while performing their duties in the workplace may file a lawsuit against the third party.
For example, if a worker performing his or her job duties is hit and killed by a truck delivering materials from a third-party company, the worker’s family may be able to file a lawsuit against the third-party company to recover damages.
Should I contact an Algonquin personal injury attorney?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 there were 759 construction-related fatalities. If your loved one is killed at work, seek legal counsel in order to get a better understanding of the type of claim that may be filed. An attorney would need to evaluate the details and determine if the circumstances surrounding the accident were based on negligence of a third party or if Workers’ Compensation is the only option for recovery.
At Franks & Rechenberg, we have dealt with these types of cases. Our law firm can assist those who are grieving, helping them to better understand their rights after losing a loved one to a fatal construction accident. Contact us: (847) 854-7700.