Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What qualifies a person to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits?”
It is genuinely tragic to think that someone simply trying to earn a living and provide for their family might leave for work in the morning and not make it home in the evening. Fortunately, the frequency with which such tragedies occur has decreased over the past several decades thanks to increasingly tough regulations and enforcement by federal and state workplace safety agencies. Though things have improved, it’s important to remember that hundreds of people die across the country each and every year due to lapses of workplace safety procedures, meaning hundreds of families suffer through the loss of a loved one who was only trying get to work.
A similar tragedy occurred earlier this month in Goldsboro, North Carolina when two workers died and a third worker was severely injured in a workplace accident. The incident occurred at night at the SPX Transformer Solutions office in Goldsboro. According to the Department of Labor, which has been providing information about the incident, the initial problem was noticed when one worker was working inside a transformer and became unresponsive. After the first worker became unresponsive, a second worker went inside the transformer and also became unresponsive. A third worker then went into the transformer and also become unresponsive. The first two workers were later pronounced dead while the third was taken to a local hospital where he has been treated for life threatening injuries.
SPX is a major transformer manufacturer, a line of work that involves the use of complicated machinery and potentially deadly electricity. The company employs more than 1,000 people in the area and has previously be awarded safety awards from the Department of Labor, recognizing it’s attempts to create a safe workplace. Despite these recent awards, the company has previously run into similar workplace safety issues. Specifically, back in 2012, an employee was electrocuted, something that may have taken place in the current case. Since then, the Department of Labor has been monitoring SPX carefully and working to avoid repeat harm to employees.
According to the Department of Labor, the current tragedy occurs after a slightly safer year overall. OSHA says that so far this calendar year it has participated in investigating 35 work-related fatalities. This compares to a total of 37 workplace fatalities at this time last year. That may not be much of a difference, but any decrease in workplace death is a victory that should be celebrated.
In cases like these, the families of the workers will have to find some way to put the pieces of their lives back together again. It can be a very difficult journey to cope with the unexpected loss of a loved one. In helping to move forward, the family members should understand that they have options to receive financial compensation for their loss. One such option is to receive financial assistance through the workers’ compensation system, known as death benefits. Another possibility, depending on the particular circumstances of your case, is to consider filing a wrongful death claim. This is possible in instances where negligent action (or inaction) by a third party resulted in the death of a loved one.
If you are injured contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled to. Feel free to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina for a free consultation. Call toll free at (955) 370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
About the Author
Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.
A board-certified specialist in the practice of Family Law, Mr. Arnold is admitted to practice in all state courts in North Carolina, in the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, and in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia.
In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.
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