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Workers' compensation claim may follow unexplained death

Iowa workers who have suffered on-the-job injuries are entitled to recovery of medical expenses and a portion of average weekly wages. Similarly, the surviving families of workers who were killed in workplace accidents may pursue death benefits. To obtain financial assistance, benefits claims must be filed with the workers' compensation insurance program for the state.

One family in Columbus Junction will likely be pursuing death benefits after the demise of a worker at a local food plant. Reportedly, the 56-year-old man was a janitor who was employed by a contractor. A call was received by the sheriff's office on a recent Thursday morning to report an unresponsive worker in the locker room at the plant.

An ambulance proceeded to the scene, and the employee was rushed to a medical facility. However, he died on the way to the hospital. An investigation was launched by the office of the medical examiner to determine the cause of this man's death. It was mentioned that a medical emergency might have caused a natural death.

In some cases, it may be difficult to prove that a loved one's death was work related, and an independent investigation may be necessary. It is not uncommon for some employers to deny claims and thereby leave families destitute and with no means to pay for end-of-life arrangements. Consulting with and experienced Iowa workers' compensation attorney may help the surviving family members obtain financial relief. Death benefits typically provided by the insurance program include compensation for expenses related to final arrangements for a funeral and burial along with replacement of lost wages in the form of a financial package.

Source:, "Investigators look into death at Columbus Junction Tyson Foods plant", Jeff Whitten, Aug. 12, 2016

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