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OSHA investigates Michigan worksite where trench collapsed

It is difficult to imagine the turmoil that families go through after losing a loved one in a fatal workplace accident. Of course, both emotional pain and suffering as well financial difficulties often hit families in the aftermath of this type of sudden loss. Michigan state law does provide a path to financial support for families who lose a loved one in a workplace accident, which can help to at least lessen the economic blow so that loved ones can focus on the grieving process.

In Michigan, workers' compensation death benefits can provide families with compensation for funeral expenses and lost source of income after a fatal on-the-job injury. This is a very important area of law because every year Michigan families do face this kind of tragedy. Just last Thursday a Grosse Ile public works employee was killed while he was in the midst of fixing a broken water main.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating the scene to determine what caused the trench to collapse on top of the worker. The water main he was working on was near Meridian and Bridge roads.

The investigation, which began Friday, may take a few weeks according to officials.

Regardless of their findings, the worker's family should be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. These benefits are generally available to families regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, in cases where a third-party is found to be responsible for the accident it is sometimes possible to pursue a wrongful death claim in order to hold that party accountable and obtain additional compensation.

After any workplace accident, it is important for victims or their family members to consider their legal options in order to exercise their rights and obtain compensation.

Source: Trenton-Grosse Ile Patch, "Officials Begin Investigation Into Injury to Gross Ile Employee," Nate Stemen, Jan. 28, 2013

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