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Family members have options after fatal tractor accidents

On Behalf of | May 29, 2019 | Workers' Compensation

Farming is a major industry in Illinois, and it employs many people for both permanent and seasonal positions. This work is hard, but in some ways, it is more dangerous than it used to be. Farming has always been a demanding industry, but in recent decades, the amount of physical labor required for many crops has decreased as a result of advances in tractor technology.

Improved planting, cultivation and harvesting systems, as well as better genetic varieties of major crops, have revolutionized farm production and the work performed by farm staff. However, these same machines have also increased the potential for severe and fatal accidents.

Tractors are a leading cause of death and injury among farm workers. If you recently lost a loved one due to a tractor accident related to an agricultural job in Illinois, you may have the right to pursue death benefits, also known as survival benefits, through the Illinois state workers’ compensation program.

Benefits can help families handle the financial impact of a loss

Losing a loved one in a workplace accident often means dealing with crippling financial hardship without any time to prepare. Many times, fatal accidents are not immediately fatal. Your loved one may have incurred many thousands of dollars in medical bills between ambulance transportation, trauma care and even emergency surgery intended to save their life.

Medical professionals don’t just write those costs off when a patient dies. Someone still has to pay. Then, there is the cost of the funeral and burial. Your family will also have to find ways to cover the work performed by your loved one in your home and in your family, such as yard work and childcare.

However, the largest financial impact of a sudden death at work is likely the loss of that person’s wages. Even if other members of your family work, the loss of an entire individual’s income can have dramatic financial repercussions for your family. Death benefits through workers’ compensation allow you to receive a portion of their income, up to an annually adjusted maximum based on state median incomes.

Your loved one would want you to be secure and stable

Some people hesitate to take action after the loss of a loved one. They may worry that people will think of them as opportunistic, trying to profit off the loss of someone else. However, your loved one undoubtedly wanted you to have a happy and stable life. That is why they worked so hard to provide for your family.

Additionally, one of the reasons the workers’ compensation insurance program exists is to protect the families of people who get injured at work. Seeking the benefits you deserve under state law is completely reasonable after a sudden and tragic tractor accident.