Fatal Occupational Injuries Up in 2014 According to Preliminary BLS Report

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 Injuries

In 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.
A vast majority of those fatally injured – 92 percent – were male, and 82 percent worked for wages and salaries.

Compensation Available after Fatal Injuries

When 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.
In the state of Georgia, beneficiaries may receive two-thirds of the average weekly wage earned by the worker or a maximum of $550.00 per week. Benefits stop for children when they reach age 18 (or 22 for those enrolled in school) and surviving spouses if they remarry or openly cohabitate with another partner. A spouse with no children is entitled to a maximum of $220,000.

Work With a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Coping with a work injury is difficult for both the injured worker and their loved ones, from concerns about loss of income to staggering medical expenses. If you are an injured Atlanta worker or are a surviving family member of a fatally injured worker, you have the right to be compensated for your suffering. Call Workers Compensation Lawyers to speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about the specifics of your case. We will make sure all of your questions are answered and that you know your rights. ]]>