An Iowa crane operator was recently killed in an accident on a construction site. At the time of the accident, he was operating a crane which moving a large aggregate hopper. The crane tipped over and pinned him in between the cab of the crane and an electrical transformer.
An OSHA investigation was underway to determine the cause of the accident. Construction safety standards require that measures be taken to ensure the stability of the crane during operations.
Under Illinois law, when someone dies in an accident, there are two components to the recovery: the survival action and the wrongful death action.
The survival action is for the injuries and damages sustained by decedent prior to his or her death. This would include medical expenses, lost wages, and conscious pain and suffering. The survival action is an asset of the estate, and the proceeds from the survival action would be distributed in accordance with the terms of the decedent’s will, or if the decedent did not have a will, in accordance with statute.
The other compenent is the wrongful death action. This is for the losses sustained by the next of kin as a result of the death. There are two components ot this: loss of economic support and loss of society. Loss of society essentially means the loss of the family relationship. The next of kin are entitled to the benefits of the wrongful death action, regardless of the terms of the will.