It seems logical that a workplace accident is most likely to happen in a situation where employees use heavy machinery. However, a recent Chicago-area incident has left many people with serious questions. While maintaining a pond, a 37-year-old man was attacked by a swan, which caused the man to drown. In the wake of the perplexing and tragic accident, the man's family may be entitled to workers' compensation survivor's benefits.
Early one morning, the Illinois man was working at a pond that his company maintained. The company uses swans and dogs to keep geese off of managed properties. This particular day, the man was in a kayak apparently checking in on one particular pair of swans when one of them began to attack him. Witnesses report that the encounter with the aggressive bird caused the man roll out of his kayak and into the water. The swan pursued the man as he tried to make it to the shore. By the time the emergency workers arrived, the man could not be resuscitated.
Currently, authorities are investigating the incident. They have not determined what exactly set off this chain of events, but they believe the man may have moved to close to the swan or its nest, which made the bird angry. According to the worker's father-in-law, he really enjoyed his job and the ability to work with animals. He suggests that the accident victim may not have wanted to harm the swan when trying to escape it.
The man left behind a wife and two daughters. Certainly, his loved ones are having difficulty coping with their grief and trying to understand exactly what happened. Reports indicate that the man did not have a life insurance policy at the time of his death, so his family may be under serious financial strain in the coming weeks and months.
Knowing the difficulties the family may face, it may be possible for them to receive workers' compensation survivor's benefits. The man was trying to do the job he loved, and unfortunately was the victim of an unforeseeable accident. These benefit payments may be one way to help the family adjust to life without their loved one.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Kayaker drowns after coming too close to swan," April 15, 2012