On March 19, 2021, an Arizona man tragically died on a construction site at a power station in Tucson’s Oro Valley, near Tangerine Road and First Avenue. According to the Oro Valley Police Department, the man—who was a subcontractor working for Tucson Electric Power—was killed while upgrading a substation.
Sargent Amy Graham with the OVPD stated that “No TEP employees were involved, nor is it power system related.” The 60-year-old unidentified man was employed by Utility & Industrial LLC.
TEP reports that there were 3 construction companies working to upgrade the system near the intersection of Tangerine Road and First Avenue. According to police, the subcontractor was loading non-electric equipment and a heavy pipe fell. The pipe struck him on the head, killing him instantly.
TEP is cooperating with investigators.
Construction is a dangerous occupation
Working construction is among one of the more dangerous jobs a person can have. While there has been significant work to ensure that the construction industry has modernized the safety procedures followed on construction sites to keep workers safe, serious and fatal accidents still occur—as this recent death in Tucson unfortunately shows.
The most common types of injuries seen on Arizona construction sites include:
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Burns and electrical shocks
- Falling from heights
- Heatstroke and fatigue
Workers’ compensation for Arizona construction workers
In most cases, construction workers who are injured on the job are covered by workers’ compensation. You do, however, need to understand the correct steps to ensure that you receive all the compensation you’re entitled to.
If you’re injured while on the job, your first concern is for your own safety. Make sure that you seek prompt medical attention if you’re injured. Additionally, make sure that you make note of your symptoms and injuries.
Your next concern is to notify your supervisor or employer of your injury. This needs to be done promptly as you’ll need to file your workers’ comp claim as soon as possible.
Injured workers in Arizona typically have 1 year from the date of their injury to file a workers’ comp claim.
In order to process a workers’ comp claim, you’ll start by filling out and signing a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury while at your physician’s office, or you can fill out a Worker’s Report of Injury. In Arizona, the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) handles most workers’ compensation claims.
For more details about filing an Arizona workers’ comp claim, check out our article listing Basic Forms for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Arizona.
Arizona worker death benefits and eligibility
Injured workers are not the only ones who can receive compensation. In the tragic event that a worker dies as a result of their accident (as in the case of the Tucson construction worker), their surviving dependents can receive survivors benefits.
If you are the surviving spouse or dependent of a loved one who died on the job, it is important to have an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side. Workers’ comp laws are complex and often surviving dependents have their claims denied due to technical oversights.
The last thing you want to deal with after the death of a loved one is to fight to receive compensation.
In Arizona, there are laws and statues that determine how much compensation qualifying surviving dependents receive. The qualifying factors include:
- Surviving spouses with no children are eligible to receive 66.67% of their spouse’s compensation. If the couple had children, the spouse would receive 35% of the compensation.
- Surviving children and stepchildren who are full-time students are eligible to receive 66.67% of their parents’ compensation until the age of 22. If they’re not enrolled in school, they will receive compensation until 18. Disabled surviving children can receive this compensation throughout the rest of their life. In the event that there is more than 1 surviving child, the compensation will be divided equally between the children.
- Parents who are entirely dependent on their child are eligible to receive 40% of their compensation
- Siblings who are dependent can receive 25% of their deceased sibling’s compensation. If there is more than 1 dependent sibling, the compensation increases to 35% to be divided evenly between the siblings.
Wages are not the only compensation surviving dependents can receive to help the financial stress. Additional benefits include money for medical treatments before the employee’s passing and up to $5,000 for funeral and burial expenses.
Get help and representation from an Arizona workers’ comp attorney
Losing a loved one can be a frightening and heartbreaking loss. As a surviving dependent, not only are you struggling with the sudden and unexpected loss of your loved one, but you could also be facing serious financial struggles.
Talking to a legal representative who understands how Arizona’s workers’ compensation laws apply to your case is essential. You’re already hurting, so save yourself the stress of wading the waters of workers’ compensation law on your own.