The costs of fatal work-related injury and illness


Americans work hard. There is no doubt that American culture thrives on a good worth ethic and the benefits that said work ethic brings us. But what happens when a worker is exposed to something at work that causes illness, or suffers an event at work that causes injury? To what extent does the family of the injured have to suffer the financial burden associated with the injury or fatality?

An astounding 3.8 million American workers suffered a non-fatal work-related injury or illness in 2012. While these illnesses or injuries did not cause their death - they very well could have. Over 4,000 workers suffered a fatality and nearly another 50,000 died due to a work-related illness in the same year. The medical expenses and lost wages alone associated with these injuries and illness can financially bury the remaining family members.

Some of these workers were Pittsburgh residents and lived in the surrounding area. It's possible that their deaths were preventable in nature and that a loved one did not have to die in a work-related incident or due to a preventable work-related illness. How these deaths affect not only the deceased, but their family, is a crucial piece of the puzzle that needs to be better addressed. If negligent behavior played a role, or if someone owed a duty of safe to the deceased, the family may decide to seek compensation for the work-related death.

While no one understands the struggle better than the remaining family members, there are people out there who sympathize with a family's unfortunate situation after the loss of a loved one. Nothing will bring the loved one back to this world, but there is a way to off-set the financial costs associated with negligence and a work-related death. Everything may be a blur immediately following a loved one's death, but it is important to focus. Long-term things can be better taken care of if it is found a person or party was responsible for a loved one's work-related death.

Source: cdc.gov, "Traumatic Occupational Injuries," Accessed July 18, 2016

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