Every day Americans head out to work assuming that they will return home again. Unfortunately, those involved in fatal workplace accidents will never return home. One wrong move performing a mundane task in the workplace can sometimes result in a loss of life. For the families of most workplace accident victims, the workers compensation system will provide limited death benefits. The employer is immune from a civil lawsuit if it pays workers compensation benefits, but if there was some negligence on the part of a non-employer third party, a wrongful death suit may be an additional remedy available to surviving family members.

A 56-year-old Grammercy man lost his life while working at the Motiva Refinery recently. The man worked for a maintenance company. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation but it appears that he lost his life while loading equipment unto a flatbed truck. The equipment allegedly shifted and heavy cylinders fell on top of him. He died at St. Charles Hospital in Luling. The man had worked for his employer for over 30 years before his untimely death.

More details will undoubtedly emerge as the investigation unfolds. News reports do not make clear whether the man left any family behind. If a party other than the man’s employer was negligent, a child or spouse of the deceased may seek compensation for the wrongful death. Damages that are recoverable include loss of support and loss of companionship.

Though financial compensation can never bring back a loved one, it can help to provide financial stability to a family after an unexpected death. An accident attorney can help families sort through the chaos in the difficult days after the death of a loved one. If it is a workplace accident, the right advocate can help pursue the maximum compensation that is allowed by law.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, “Worker at Motiva Refinery in Norco dies after pumps fall on him,” Bob Warren, March 14, 2013