Throughout much of our history, construction jobs have always been one of the more dangerous occupations. While construction work has become significantly safer over the past 100 years, there are still frequent accidents, and some of the accidents result in a worker being killed.
According to a recent news report from WISTV, a worker in Orangeburg, South Carolina was killed when a falling concrete block hit him. Witnesses say the 70-year-old victim was working on a masonry project taking down a cinderblock wall at the time of his on-the-job fatal injury.
While he was attempting to dismantle the wall one block at a time, the wall became unstable and collapsed, causing a large concrete block to fall on him. Authorities conducted an investigation into the fatal work-related accident, as is always done, and quickly determined the worker’s death was in fact the result of an accident. No other workers at the construction site were injured when the wall collapsed.
As our Rock Hill workers’ compensation attorneys can explain, following a fatal accident, the surviving heirs of the deceased worker must decide who is the proper person to be named as personal representative (executor) of decedent’s estate. If decedent had a valid last will and testament at the time of his or her death, the personal representative will be the person named in the will, assuming that person is willing and able to perform the task required of the appointment. If that person is unable or unwilling to serve as decedent’s personal representative, a will normally lists an alternative personal representative. If not, the South Carolina probate court will appoint a substitute personal replacement.
If decedent did not have a will, an heir can apply to the probate court for appointment as administrator of decedent’s estate. You should speak with your workers’ compensation attorney about assistance with this issue, because the personal representative of decedent’s estate will be responsible for filing a workers’ compensation claim with employer, and this claim must be filed quickly following a fatal work-related accident.
In the case of a fatal on-the-job injury, a worker’s family will be entitled to compensation for any unpaid medical bills connected with worker’s final injury or illness, funeral expenses, and compensation for lost wages. Lost wages are essentially the most important part of a workers’ compensation claim involving a request for death benefits. This lost wages claim is designed to compensate a family for the wages they would have received from decedent had he not be killed in a work-related accident or died as a result of a fatal work-related illness. Mesothelioma is an example of a work-related injury that often proves fatal.
It should also be noted, there is no need to prove negligence on behalf of an employer when a worker dies as result of work-related injury or illness. It is only necessary to establish worker was an employee within the definition of the South Carolina workers’ compensation statutes, and that he or she died as a result of an on-the-job injury or employment-related illness.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
Report: Orangeburg man killed by falling concrete block, June 4, 2015, WISTV
More Blog Entries:
Shubert v. Macy’s West, Inc. – Failure to Adhere to Care Plan, March 19, 2015, Rock Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog