What Are Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in South Florida?
Most people think of workers’ compensation benefits as benefits that are specifically for an injured worker who has been injured on the job. In other words, it is common to assume that workers’ compensation benefits are only for the injured worker rather than for the injured worker’s family. Yet when a worker is killed on the job, the Florida workers’ compensation system may also provide death benefits, or what the Florida Statutes described as “compensation for death.” When can a family seek these death benefits, and who is eligible? To learn more, you should get in touch with one of our Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyers. In the meantime, we can provide you with more information about how compensation for death works according to state law.
Types of Death Benefits
What types of death benefits are paid? In general, the following are the two forms of compensation for death:
- Funeral expenses up to $7,500; and
- Percentage of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, not to exceed $150,000 and not to exceed 66.67 percent of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage.
Who Can Obtain Compensation for Death, and When?
In the immediate aftermath of a fatal workplace accident, as well as in cases where “death results from the accident within 1 year thereafter or follows continuous disability and results from the accident within 5 years thereafter,” then the employer is required to pay death benefits.
Who can get compensation for death in Florida? Depending upon who survives the worker who suffered a fatal injury or died as a result of the workplace accident, it may be possible for any of the following surviving parties of the deceased worker to obtain death benefits:
- Child or children;
- Brothers and/or sisters; and/or
The way in which death benefits are paid are based on who survives the deceased worker. Under Florida law, if there is a surviving spouse but no surviving children, the surviving spouse receives 50 percent of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, and benefits stop upon the surviving spouse’s death. If there are surviving children, then an additional 16 and ⅔ percent is paid, although the compensation can be different when the surviving child is not also the surviving child of the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, each surviving child will receive 33 and ⅓ percent. Other surviving relatives named above can be paid a lesser percentage of the deceased’s average weekly wage.
Contact a Sunrise Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Losing a loved one under any circumstances is tragic and often life-altering. When a loved one who provides support to you and your family is killed in a preventable workplace accident, the aftermath of the accident is often devastating. It is important to know that it may be possible to seek death benefits through the Florida workers’ compensation system. An experienced Sunrise workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can talk with you today to learn more about your circumstances and the case of your loved one’s workplace fatality, and we can tell you more about seeking compensation for death according to the Florida Statutes.