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Workers' compensation claim tied to Fire Chief's death appealed


Firefighters and police officers serve to protect our communities. Every day these individuals put their lives on the line to make us safe. When these courageous men and women are injured or killed on the job, their employers should take care of them and their families. While many workers' compensation claims are accepted and paid out, others are denied. A recent workers' compensation claim denial helps illustrate how these claims work and issues that may come up when one is filed.

A widow's worker's compensation claim stemming from her husband's death was recently denied. The widow claimed her husband, who was a Fire Chief, died after responding to three emergency fires. She claimed responding to these emergencies led to the cardiac arrest that killed her husband. The claim was denied because the hearing officer found the widow failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish the Fire Chief's death was caused by an occupational disease. Instead, the deceased's death certificate showed he died due to gastrointestinal bleeding due to spreading kidney cancer.

When one loses a workers' compensation claim, he may be left in a dire circumstance. The victim must deal with loss of wages, medical expenses, and loss of future earning capacity. The same is true for those who lose a family member to job-related accidents. With medical benefits and finances on the line, those affected by a workers' compensation claim denial should seek assistance from an experienced attorney.

A competent workers' compensation attorney can help a client in several ways. An initial consultation can address the accident and help determine the likelihood of success. If the process moves forward, then the attorney can develop a legal argument that seeks to establish the injurious accident occurred while within the scope of employment. This is very important and if not proven, as can be seen by the case above, the claim will be denied.

If successful on the claim, the client can obtain the compensation he needs and deserves to recover and get his life back to as close to normal. Also, those who receive compensation from the loss of a loved one can move on in remembrance of their loss.

Source: The Vindicator, "Fire chief's widow appeals Workers' Comp denial," Sep. 11, 2013

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