The Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program recently reported the conclusion of an investigation into the death of a patrol officer who drowned in March this year. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says 12 to 13 workers nationwide suffer fatal work-related injuries each day. The FACE program’s investigations aim to study the circumstances of such accidents to prevent similar incidents in the future. However, workers’ compensation claims for death benefits are also filed every day.
In this case, a police officer was on patrol during a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift on a Friday in March. Shortly after 9:15 p.m., the 45-year-old officer drove into an unanticipated floodwater area. He was unable to drive out of it, and he radioed the dispatch office to alert them of his emergency, requesting a tow truck.
A witness reportedly saw the patrol officer climbing onto the roof of his patrol vehicle from where the officer made a second call two minutes later to inform dispatch that his truck was sinking fast. Sadly, within minutes after that call, the truck became submerged entirely, taking the officer down with it. FACE identified several factors that could have contributed to the officer’s drowning, one of which is the fact that he was weighed down in freezing water that was 12 to 14 feet deep by the combined weight of his Kevlar vest and duty belt of about 40 pounds.
When family members have to deal with the unanticipated on-the-job death of a loved one, they might have multiple questions about their eligibility for death benefits or other sources of compensation. Not only will they suddenly have to cope without the income of the deceased loved one, they may also have to deal with the high costs of end-of-life arrangements. An experienced Kentucky workers’ compensation attorney can explain their rights and assist with the necessary legal and administrative processes in pursuit of maximum compensation.