The death of a loved one is always hard on surviving family members. When the death is an untimely one and the result of an on-the-job accident or injury, it can be even more difficult. Uncertainty over providing for your family can be overwhelmingly stressful, while medical and hospital bills pertaining to the accident can easily pile up. Unfortunately, worker deaths occur alarmingly often, and it is important for employees as well as their family to understand the types of workers’ compensation benefits that are available in Florida in the event a fatal accident occurs.
According to the latest statistics on workplace fatalities from the Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA), over 4,600 employees were killed on the job in 2014, an average of more than 13 workers per day. OSHA list the following injuries as being the most common in terms of resulting in worker death:
- Slip and fall injuries;
- Being struck by or against an object;
- Transportation accidents;
- Heat and chemical burns;
- Electrocution; and
- Workplace violence.
Jobs in the healthcare field, in the construction industry, manufacturing jobs, and jobs in the service industry were among the highest for worker injuries and deaths.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits For Surviving Family Members
Under Florida Workers’ Compensation Laws, families of workers who are killed on the job or die as the result of their injuries are entitled to certain benefits. In addition to paying funeral expenses up to $7,500, the workers’ compensation program also provide the following compensation:
- For spouses: Workers’ compensation will pay 50 percent of the worker’s average weekly wage for the lifetime of the surviving spouse, adding 16 2/3 percent for couples with children. In addition, the surviving spouse is entitled to educational benefits for up to 80 hours of coursework at any community college or up to 1800 hours of post-secondary instruction. These benefits are in effect for 7 years following a worker’s death.
- For children: In cases where there is no spouse, surviving children are each entitled to 33 1/3 percent of the worker’s average earnings.
- For parents: Parents may be entitled to 25 percent each of the worker’s average wages.
In certain cases, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren may also be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. While no amount of money could ever make up for the untimely loss of a loved one, these benefits can help surviving family members rebuild their lives in the aftermath of such a devastating loss.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a work related accident or has suffered injuries while on the job, contact our experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorneys. At Hogan Frick, we provide compassionate, professional legal representation to assist you in getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, while ensuring your rights are protected. Serving the Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland areas, our office is here to help; call or contact us online today for a free and confidential consultation.