Compensation For A Work-Related Death
Accidents in the workplace are pretty common. Unfortunately, sometimes, accidents in the workplace end in tragedy. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 4,764 fatal work injuries were recorded in America in 2020. If this is accurate, it means that in 2020, a worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury. According to the BLS, employees in transportation and material moving occupations, extraction, and construction occupations accounted for almost half of all fatal occupational injuries.
Thankfully, Florida’s workers’ compensation system provides death benefits to surviving loved ones when an employee dies after suffering an injury on the job. Workers’ compensation death benefits in Florida are meant to compensate surviving family members for the effect of their loved one’s death. Usually, these benefits are intended to help with medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and future educational expenses.
So, how much can you recover after the death of a loved one through a workers’ compensation claim? In Florida, if a work-related death occurs, surviving loved ones can recover workers’ compensation death benefits to a maximum of $150,000. This is according to Florida Statute §440.16.
If you lost a loved one to a workplace accident, know that, at a minimum, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. You should also know that, depending on what caused your loved one’s death, you may be qualified to file a wrongful death claim.
Workers’ Compensation and Wrongful Death Claims
Pretty much anyone who lost their loved one after they suffered a work-related injury can recover workers’ compensation death benefits from their deceased loved one’s employer. This is because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you don’t need to prove negligence on the employer’s part. You also don’t need to prove that the decedent was not negligent unless under limited circumstances. For example, suppose there are claims that the decedent was intoxicated when they suffered their injury. In that case, you will need to prove that those claims are false to recover compensation through a workers’ compensation claim.
However, it is crucial to note that the trade-off for this no-fault system is that employers are immune from wrongful death claims. If it is evident that your loved one’s employer was at-fault, this can be incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, this immunity does not extend to third parties. If you believe your loved one’s death was the fault of a third party, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the third party and recover more compensation. In Florida, you can file a wrongful death claim if your deceased loved one suffered a work-related injury because of the negligence of, among others, the following third parties;
- Property owner(s)
- Product manufacturer(s)
- Careless/reckless driver(s)
If you believe a third party is responsible for your loved one’s work-related death, you need to speak to a qualified attorney. An experienced lawyer can assist you in identifying all possible defendants and fighting for the compensation you deserve for the loss of your loved one.
Contact a Key West & Marathon Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you lost a loved one to a work-related injury, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits. If a third party is liable for your loved one’s death, you may also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
Our Key West & Marathon workers’ compensation lawyers at Florida Keys Injury have experience handling workers’ compensation claims. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve for your loved one’s death. Call us today at 786-605-8500 to schedule a consultation.