Recently, a road crew worker tragically died in a job-related accident in Ohio after a tree he was removing crushed him. The worker was attempting to remove the large tree that was in the middle of the road near Sharon Valley Road in Licking County. As he was cutting the tree into removable sections with a chainsaw, a twelve-foot portion of the tree’s trunk fell on him. Co-workers were able to get the trunk off the man with a crane, but CPR was not enough to bring the man back. He died at the scene of the accident.
Families of people who die in workplace accidents are entitled to a number of dependent death benefits, which are designed to help these families pick up the pieces of their lives without their loved ones and still make ends meet.
Workers compensation laws create programs in which the government, workers and employers all work together to provide benefits for employees when they are injured while on-the-job and for families of employees that are killed while on-the-job. A death benefit claim can be filed by the family of an employee (including on behalf of the employee’s spouse and children) once the employee is killed on the job.
The two types of dependent death benefits depend on whether the death occurs at work (like the road crew worker in Licking County) or the death occurs sometime after as a result of something that happened on-the-job (if the road crew worker died several weeks later in the hospital after the tree crushed him).
When a worker is killed or seriously injured at work, the complexity of the workers’ compensation system can often overwhelm families affected by a workplace injury. Thankfully, experienced attorneys are available to help Ohio workers and their families navigate our state’s workers’ compensation system.
Sources: The Columbus Dispatch, “Worker on Licking County road crew killed by falling tree,” Randy Ludlow, Jan. 6, 2012
OhioBWC.com, “Compensation Types,” retrieved Jan. 10, 2012