Pennsylvania – June 4, 2021
While working in the underground section of a Marion County Coal Resources mine, a coal miner died Wednesday in a workplace accident when the edge, or rib of a coal support pillar fell and struck him. The accident is being investigated by the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training. This is reported as the third coal mining fatality of 2021. When fatal injury occurs at work, attorneys may utilize several methods to secure compensation for surviving family members to cover immediate expenses related to funeral and burial arrangements, and further necessary compensation to adjust to life without the support of a loved one.
When an employee dies as a result of their job, it may be necessary to contact experienced legal counsel to assist in a determination of workers’ compensation death benefits. The amount of death benefits that the deceased employee’s family will be entitled to will be based on the number of eligible dependents and their financial dependency to the worker at the time of their death and is subject to the state maximum. Under Pennsylvania law, funeral benefits of up to $7,000 must also be paid. This amount must be paid whether or not the decedent had dependents.
Death benefits are not “automatic” to survivors of deceased workers, and a claim must be made to access them. Surviving family members should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Pennsylvania with questions about application and procedure, or for assistance with all avenues for necessary compensation. The Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) determines all questions of partial or total dependency, but it is common for a surviving spouse and children to receive death benefits.
Sometimes claims are denied for a variety of reasons and if this occurs, experienced attorneys can assist with an appeal. Insurance companies will heavily scrutinize claims for workers’ compensation to make sure the claim is valid and to eliminate a precedent of other employees filing frivolous claims for benefits. Common reason for benefit denials include:
- Missed deadlines – timely notification to employer regarding a work-related illness or injury must occur.
- Employer claims injury did not happen at work – questions surrounding work-related injury may require medical evidence may be necessary to prove the circumstances of the work-related injury to support the claim.
- State restrictions – restrictions can affect the value of compensation for a work-related accident in Pennsylvania.
- Filed after leaving a job – many insurers will deny a claim if it was filed after an employee quit, was laid off, or fired from a job where they claim an accident occurred.
Individuals can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Labor Industry Bureau of Workers’ Compensation with questions at 717-772-3702, as well as seeking the assistance of legal counsel to handle these sometimes complicated communications.
Hire legal counsel.
Experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can build strong cases with supporting evidence when an employee suffers fatal injury on the job. An experienced accident lawyer at Scanlon & Wojton will fight for your rights for workers’ compensation, and in some cases civil action to cover damages.
Scanlon & Wojton, Attorneys at Law
The Mitchell Building
304 Ross Street, Suite 510
Pittsburgh, Pa 15219
Phone: (412) 918-1241
Fax: (412) 235-7275