Kearney, NE – A 50-year-old employee at MACH 1 Manufacturing was killed in a workplace accident Monday morning. The accident happened very early in the morning, and Greg Geist was alone in the building at the time so it is hard to piece together exactly what happened. Someone at the factory called 911 at 5:45 am to say that one person was trapped in a laser cutting machine. When emergency services arrived, Geist had already died. The police forwarded the case to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), who will decide whether to investigate the matter further.
If you were recently injured or lost someone in a work-related accident, you should consult with seasoned Nebraska workers compensation lawyers. Work-related injury claims are dealt with under Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Act, but in many cases employers try to skirt responsibility to avoid paying damages.
Death benefits under Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Act
When an employee is killed in a work accident, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits to their dependents.
The dependents of the deceased worker may be entitled to receive a lump-sum payment or ongoing payments to help cover the costs associated with the death of the worker. This could include funeral expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. Currently, under Nebraska laws the family can recover up to $11,000.00 for burial expenses.
The dependents of the deceased worker may also be entitled to receive ongoing payments to help cover their living expenses. These benefits are usually paid out as a percentage of the worker’s wages and may continue until the dependents are no longer considered dependents. Under Nebraska law, if a person dies as a result of a workplace injury, the surviving spouse is awarded two-thirds of the employee’s salary. This continues until the spouse remarries. In addition, surviving children also may receive compensation for the loss.
If the worker was receiving medical care for injuries sustained in the work accident, the dependents may be entitled to receive reimbursement for any outstanding medical bills related to the treatment.
Vocational rehabilitation benefits
If the dependents were financially dependent on the worker, they may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation benefits to help them become self-sufficient.
Note that if the employer’s insurer does not pay rightful benefits on time, you may be entitled to a 50% penalty added to the sum.
When can you sue an employer if you lose someone in a workplace accident?
In most cases, employees who are injured or killed in a workplace accident cannot sue their employer for damages under workers’ compensation laws. Nebraska’s Workers’ Compensation Act is a no-fault system, which means that it is intended to provide benefits to employees who are injured or killed on the job, regardless of who was at fault.
However, according to leading Nebraska workers’ compensation lawyers, there are some limited circumstances in which the victim’s family may be able to sue the employer for damages. These circumstances may include:
- Intentional misconduct: If the employer acted intentionally or engaged in conduct that was substantially certain to cause harm to the employee, the victim’s family may be able to sue for damages.
- Third-party liability: If the employee was killed on the job due to the negligence of a contractor or supplier, the family can hold that third party liable for damages.
- Defective products / equipment: If the death was caused by a defective product or piece of equipment, experienced lawyers can help the family sue the manufacturer.
If you were recently injured or you lost a loved one in a work-related accident in Nebraska, schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney at the Rensch & Rensch Law firm, with offices in Omaha and Columbus. They’ll make sure your employer gives you the benefits you’re entitled to.
7602 Pacific St #102, Omaha, NE 68114
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