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Illinois caseworker's death causes legal review

Workplaces must always be safe to keep people at their posts, companies working and government services running. Accidents can happen in nearly any environment, and employers owe it to their workers to do what they can to guarantee safety.

Some jobs are more prone to serious workplace injuries or fatalities, such as law enforcement and some types of construction. If criminal or negligent actions led directly to a worker's death, the survivors of the victim may consider filing a wrongful death suit through a qualified legal representative.

Wrongful death lawsuits can have effects beyond reimbursement for lost wages and compensation for pain and emotional distress. Civil suits may have effects on ongoing threats to other workers and convince negligent people, businesses or organizations to change dangerous conditions.

A caseworker with Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services was badly beaten while she was following a directive to take a child into custody. A 25-year-old man in the house the worker was visiting kicked her in the head hard enough to fracture her skull. She died from her injuries four months later.

State senators in Springfield have recently introduced laws to increase penalties for attacking caseworkers like the victim of the beating. The laws would allow more serious charges and longer jail terms for people who assault caseworkers as a deterrent against future attacks.

Fatal attacks, as well as deaths due to negligence in the workplace, may warrant a civil lawsuit. An attorney can help survivors of workplace fatalities assemble a case and fight the conditions that caused a tragic death.

Source: Peoria Journal-Star, "DCFS worker’s death sparks calls for change," Brenden Moore, Feb. 25, 2018

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