Workers’ compensation insurance is a big business. Many companies offer the insurance products that pay the claims. Many doctors and healthcare providers supply the medical side of the equation, with surgery, treatment, prescription drugs, therapy and rehabilitation.
There are law firms that assist injured workers with their claims and there are firms that defend employers and their insurers against those claims. But there is one type of claim that everyone should be mindful of to treat with special respect. Those are claims involving the death of a worker.
One man writes of how upon finding out that one the Navy pilots who flew with the Blue Angels flight demonstration team had crashed, was surprised to learn the pilot had been born in his hometown, gone to his high school and graduated from the same college.
Even though the pilot was much younger (the writer had moved away the year the pilot was born), he found the death strangely personal. He felt a special sadness at this highly-trained, skilled pilots death who grew up in his hometown.
He then noted he attended a conference where two men visited his booth one day and one of them begin loudly proclaiming that he preferred claims involving the death of a worker, as that limited the expenses, as compared to a long-term disability claim.
For many in the process, this view is likely too common. A claim is just a pile of numbers on the page, the smaller the better.
Claims involving the death of a worker should never be treated as a good thing. For the worker’s family and friends, the death is a catastrophe, especially if the worker has children. Consider if those kids are young enough, they will grow up never knowing their father. No birthdays, no holidays, vacations or graduations, ever.
Even if they receive a reasonable monetary settlement, the loss is tremendous and indescribable. We should always keep that in mind, with any fatality, that while their death will not make many headlines or receive much news coverage, it will be tragically unforgettable for at least one family.
Source: workerscompensation.com, “When a High Profile Workplace Death Lands Strangely Near Home,” Bob Wilson, June 6, 2016