Around the time the Empire State Building was constructed, construction companies did not make workers’ safety a large concern. It was an accepted risk some of the workers would die during the construction of the building, and in fact, there were several deaths before the project was completed in 1931.
However, in today’s world, worker safety is far more of a concern, and it is expected each and every worker employed on a major construction project will make it safely home at the end of the day. If there is a serious construction accident, especially one involving a fatality, there will be an investigation, and if there were any safety violations, fines may be issued to the construction company responsible for the accident.
According to a recent article in the Real Deal, a worker was killed while working on the construction of a major hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Authorities say worker fell 24 floors down an open elevator shaft in the unfinished building and was killed in fall, though he was rushed to Belleview Hospital where he was officially pronounced dead. Victim was 25-years-old at the time of the fatal workplace accident.
It was also reported the same site had been ordered to be shut down in the Summer of 2013 after building inspectors found numerous unsafe working conditions. Some of these earlier violations involved floor openings without rails and other similar violations. It should be noted, there have not been reports of any safety violations in connection with this recent incident, and investigation is still underway into the cause of victim’s work-related death.
As our Boston workers’ compensation attorneys can explain, when an accident results in a worker being killed instead of seriously injured, workers’ compensation is still the appropriate remedy. In these cases, it will be a family member who is also an heir at law to deceased worker who can file a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, workers’ compensation death benefits are designed to compensate a deceased worker’s surviving family members for medical bills associated with the final injury or illness, funeral expenses, and lost wages. The lost wages claim may actually be the primary part of a workers’ compensation claim.
In the context of a workers’ compensation claim in which the worker was killed on the job, a claim for lost wages involves the money a worker would have earned had he or she not been killed on the job. However, a workers’ compensation insurance company may try to undervalue the death benefits claim by arguing the deceased worker would not have earned as much as the family claims he or she would have earned had the accident not occurred. For this reason, it is best to seek a consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can discuss your rights to a full and complete workers’ compensation benefits award.
You should also ask your attorney to discuss different types of death benefits settlement options that may be available, including a lump sum benefits award.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Worker dies after falling 24 stories at Riu Hotel site in Midtown , May 5, 2015, The Real Deal
More Blog Entries:
Elevator Mechanic Killed when Falling Down Shaft, Jan. 24, 2015, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog