When a worker is killed on the job, very often the worker's family will be eligible for workers' compensation death benefits. Depending on the circumstances, family members may also be able to file a claim against certain non-employer parties. This situation may exist at the site of a Pennsylvania crane accident where two men were killed on February 2.
According to a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, a crane accident happened at about 8 a.m. at a plant where mobile cranes and crawler cranes are made. The spokesman said that the situation was very chaotic when authorities arrived at the scene soon after the fatal accident. In addition to the deaths, three others were hospitalized for injuries. One of the injured workers was critically injured, another suffered an injury to his hand, and the third suffered an injury to his arm, according to authorities. Few other details were available at last report.
Authorities said that multiple government agencies - including the Pennsylvania State Police, the county coroner's office, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - were investigating the fatal workplace accident. OSHA is expected to release its findings within six months.
Usually when a worker is killed on the job, the worker's survivors will file a claim for workers' compensation death benefits. Whenever a third party - someone other than the worker or the employer - may be liable for the dead worker's fatal injuries, it may be possible to sue that third party for wrongful death. This could be a factor if a faulty piece of equipment failed Possible damages include pain and suffering and loss of companionship.
Source: Public Opinion, "Manitowoc crane accident: 2 killed, but details on what happened are scarce," Jim Hook, Feb. 2, 2018