A 47-year-old Scranton man who was an employee of MIA Foods in Moosic died in what has been described as an “unspecified industrial accident.” The company, who makes frozen foods, including Luigi’s Italian Ice, have not yet made a statement or released any further information on the incident. An investigation is currently underway, however, the man’s name or cause of death have not yet been made public. Unfortunately, on-the-job deaths are far too common, particularly in industrial, construction, and manufacturing industries. There are over 5,000 workers killed on the job annually. That equates to nearly 100 work-related fatalities every single week. Experts in the workers’ compensation field often say that the correct phrase for workers in these fields isn’t “if” you’re injured, but “when,” as the majority of these employers is statistically likely to suffer a serious work-related injury within ten years.

Does Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania Cover Death?

Generally we think of workers’ compensation insurance as providing medical care and full or partial wage replacement in the event that an employee is injured on the job. However, workers’ compensation insurance also provides death benefits if the employee dies at work or as a direct result of their job. It’s important to understand though that these benefits are not automatically issued. Someone who is eligible to receive them must inform the deceased’s employer of their intention to file for death benefits. At this point, the company should already have filed a claim with their insurance, and informed all necessary agencies, including OSHA, of the circumstances of the employee’s death. Eligible individuals include the employees’ spouse, minor children, incapacitated children of any age, parents who were fully or partially dependent on the employee, and minor siblings. Children and siblings of the employee who are up to 23 years of age may be eligible if they are in school full time.

Filing for Death Benefits

Once you have confirmed your eligibility it’s important to initiate the claim as soon as possible. Although you technically have three years from the time of your loved ones’ death to file this claim, you will receive more benefits the sooner you file, which you will miss out on otherwise. For instance, filing early allows you to qualify for up to $7,000 in funeral expenses for your loved one. Additionally, benefits are paid out on a weekly basis at a rate determined based on the salary the employee was earning at the time of their death. The sooner you file and are approved, the sooner you begin receiving weekly payments to help support you the way your loved one would have continued to. In the event that your death claim is denied, you should seek legal representation.

Schedule a Consultation with the O’Donnell Law Firm

If you’ve suffered a work-related injury or have lost a loved one to a workplace accident, our lawyers are ready to support you every step of the way. Schedule a free initial consultation with the  personal injury attorneys at the O’Donnell Law Offices serving clients in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Hazleton and Pittston at 570-821-5717 or online today. There is no fee or costs until we win your case.




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