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Work-Related Deaths

Work-related Death Attorney in Florida

Certain on the job accidents are severe enough to result in an employee’s death.  We have handled such cases before and are experienced in the event an individual dies in the course and scope of employment.  We have worked cases involving a security guard shot and killed during a robbery, a construction worker being electrocuted while operating machinery, and other circumstances that resulted in such a substantial and unfortunate loss.

In the event the employee dies, an employee’s dependents can be eligible for what are called death benefits.  Death benefits consist of the following:

  1. Actual funeral expenses, not to exceed $7,500.00, must be paid by the worker’s compensation carrier within 14 days of receiving the bill.
  2. Compensation (monetary) benefits are payable to the deceased employee’s dependents based on an amount determined from the employee’s average weekly wage.
  3. It is important to note that there are a number of factors required to be met in order to be qualified as a dependent under the statute. Contacting our office to discuss whether you qualify as a dependent can be accomplished by calling (727) 451-6900 or click here to send us a confidential, no obligation e-mail. Generally, the courts follow a three prong test to determine dependency:  The dependent must have actually been dependent upon the deceased employee, the dependent received substantial support from the deceased employee, the deceased employee provided such support regularly and the dependent reasonably expected that the deceased would have continued to provide such support into the future.
  4. The amount of such benefits shall not exceed $150,000.00.

The statute section that addresses death benefits can be found at Fla. Stat. 440.16(1).  The statute section references a number of terms and factors you may not be familiar with.  We can help interpret the meaning of the statute during a free consultation.  To help simplify that statute section, a summary of a few of the following factors exists below:

  1. The death must result from a compensable injury. A compensable injury one that occurred in the course and scope of employment and for which more than 50% of the cause and need for treatment is the work accident.
  2. The death must occur within 1 year after the work accident, or 5 years after the work accident if the employee remained continuously disabled during that 5 year period.
  3. If the death results from an occupational disease, the death must occur within 350 weeks, (6.76 years) after the date the employee was last exposed.
  4. For the beneficiary, the relationship to the deceased giving right to compensation under the provisions of this section must have existed at the time of the accident, save only in the case of after born children of the deceased.
  5. An individual eligible for death benefits must be both a dependent of the deceased, and related to the deceased in the form of being their spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, or grandchild.

There are benefits in addition to the monetary benefits noted above.  They include payment of post-secondary student fees for the surviving spouse.  Again, the factors needed to qualify are not entirely easy to comprehend.  We encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have (727) 451-6900 or e-mail us to obtain a FREE consultation.