Construction accident caused by a broken strap
A 55-year-old construction worker on a Governor’s Island job site was killed by a 15-foot steel pipe that fell from a forklift on July 5, the New York Daily News reported. The man was standing next to a flatbed truck along with some other workers when the pipe fell. A strap holding the 24-inch round pipe had broken, said the NYDN. Abbas Behnam-Bakhsh was pronounced dead at the scene. The man’s son, who saw the accident unfold, was not hurt.
Workers’ comp death benefits for workers with families
Under New York workers’ compensation laws, benefits are available for the surviving family members. Though the money will likely be cold comfort to the construction worker’s family, his dependents may be entitled to receive weekly cash benefits. The idea behind death benefits in New York is to help provide a financial lifeline for those who are affected the most by the worker’s death.
Workers’ compensation in New York provides death benefits to a spouse and to dependent minor children of the employee who was killed. These can be paid as weekly cash benefits equivalent to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly income for the year prior to the deadly workplace accident. The benefits can also be negotiated as a lump sum award.
Workplace deaths and third-party lawsuits
When a worker dies on the job there are usually a number of legal aspects that must be considered. A lawyer can guide families through this difficult time and answer questions regarding workers’ compensation death benefits. If the construction accident involved faulty equipment, like an inadequate strap, the worker’s loved ones may be able to seek financial compensation in an independent lawsuit against responsible third-parties.
Third-party lawsuits are common in workplace deaths in which faulty equipment is found to be partially responsible for the construction accident. An equipment manufacturer and/or repair company may be forced to compensate the family. This lawsuit would be in addition to pursuing a workers’ comp claim with the worker’s employer.