When a Colorado employee is fatally injured at work, his or her spouse and children are often entitled to a certain amount of money called death and dependency benefits. These specific workers’ compensation benefits are not designed to replace anyone, because no amount of money can replace someone, but to help a family adjust to the drastic reduction in income. No one in Colorado should have to go through losing a loved one and being forced to live on substantially less money.
For the family members of a 55-year-old man who was fatally injured on a construction site, it will now be a matter of filing for benefits and grieving the loss of a loved one. Tragically, the construction worker was crushed to death when a 15-foot storm sewer pipe fell from a forklift that was removing the piping from a truck. It is still unknown why the pipe fell or whether anyone else was injured.
It is no surprise that construction sites can come with a certain degree of risk and danger, but with the proper safety equipment, training and supervision, these kinds of accidents are largely avoidable. Although it is not possible to remove absolutely all risk, it is possible to greatly reduce the chance of someone getting hurt. Even if the accident was truly that, an accident, however, families may still be able to receive workers’ compensation.
Applying for death and dependency benefits can be difficult, however, in part because dealing with confusing paperwork is often the last thing families wish to be doing after a family member’s death. By working with a workers’ compensation attorney, families can turn over a vast majority of the work to the attorney and focus on moving forward.
Source: The New York Times, “Staten Island Man, 55, Is Killed By Falling 15-Foot Pipe,” July 5, 2013