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Occupational Fatalities: What Workers and Their Loved Ones Need to Know

In December 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2015 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The BLS reported that 4,836 workers in the United States lost their lives because of work injuries in 2015. That is the highest number of work-related deaths since 2008.

Ten Industries With High Fatal Work Injury Rates

The nature of some jobs make work-related deaths more likely. In 2015, the 10 industries with the greatest number of work-related deaths included:

  1. Logging workers.
  2. Fishers and related fishing workers.
  3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers.
  4. Roofers.
  5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors.
  6. Structural iron and steel workers.
  7. Driver–sales workers and truck drivers.
  8. Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural managers.
  9. Electrical power installers and repairers.
  10. First line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers.

While these industries had high numbers of work-related deaths, a work-related fatality can occur to any worker in any industry and relatives should understand their rights if they suffer this kind of tragic loss.

Workers’ Compensation for Surviving Relatives

Iowa Workers’ Compensation Law allows dependents of a worker who dies in an occupational accident to recover benefits. Those benefits begin on the date the employee dies and end:

  • For the surviving spouse at the end of the spouse’s life or upon remarriage. If the spouse remarries and there are no dependent children of the deceased worker, then the spouse may get a two year lump sum settlement.
  • For dependent children when they reach the age of 18, or when they reach the age of 25 if they are actually dependent, or for life if they are totally disabled.

Burial expenses may also be covered by workers’ compensation.

As with any type of work injury insurance settlement, it is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to make sure that you get the fair recovery that you deserve. Our experienced lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies and will fight hard to get you the recovery that you deserve if your loved one died in a work-related accident. To learn more, please schedule a free and confidential consultation with us as soon as possible by reaching out to us via this website or by phone at your convenience.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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