Regardless of how many safety measures are in place, every year millions workers will suffer from occupational injuries and illnesses. In the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps track of all recordable instances of injuries, both fatal and nonfatal. The BLS releases reports of all of their statistics so that improvements to worker safety can be made. Their most recent yearly report for 2014 shows the preliminary numbers for fatal occupational injuries increasing with a total of 4,669 fatal work injuries. When a worker is injured on the job, they most likely are eligible to receive medical and income benefits through their state’s workers’ compensation. Atlanta workers can speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer about collecting benefits in Georgia.
Georgia Fatal InjuriesIn addition to releasing national numbers, the BLS also tracks statistics for individual states. Georgia accounted for a total of 148 of the fatal injuries recorded nationwide, a 31 percent increase from the numbers recorded last year by the state. Georgia’s fatal occupational injuries have ranged between a low of 101 in 2012 and a high of 249 in 1994. Transportation injuries made up over one-third of the fatalities, with 59 deaths, most of which involved land vehicles. Other categories of accidents that posted significant numbers included:
- Violence and other injuries by people or animals;
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents; and
- Contact with objects or machinery/equipment.
Compensation Available after Fatal InjuriesWhen a worker loses their life through the course of their employment, their families and any dependents are typically entitled to collect Georgia workers’ compensation on their behalf. These special death benefits are meant to help the eligible surviving beneficiaries cope with the loss of income and possible medical expenses incurred before the injured worker died. Typically, eligible dependents who would be beneficiaries of a fatally injured worker include:
- Spouse – So long as the couple was legally married and living together, the spouse would be a beneficiary. Couples who were separated more than 90 days prior to the accident or had a common law marriage may have their claim denied.
- Children – Children, both natural and legally adopted, step-children, and posthumous children are eligible until they turn 18. Any children enrolled in full-time college are eligible until age 22. Children with mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from taking care of themselves are also eligible over age 18.