Does Workers Compensation Cover Fatal Injuries?

fatal workers compensation injury

You probably know by now that if you get injured or sick while doing your job, then you can generally receive benefits to help cover the cost of treatment and lost wages. However, what if a loved one suffers a fatal work injury and passes away? Will family members receive compensation for their death?

In most cases, yes, but you must meet a few criteria.

How Workers Compensation Works

Workers’ compensation kicks in when an employee is hurt while performing their job or gets sick as a result of their activity or work environment. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a minor injury like an ankle sprain or a fatal one – as long as your health was altered because of your job, you are generally entitled to benefits. The same is true for fatal injuries.

For example, if your loved one was exposed to toxic gases, developed cancer and died because of it, then you likely qualify for death benefits. Likewise, if they were crushed by a forklift and died because of their injuries, then you are also generally eligible.

Who Can Get a Workers Compensation Settlement?

Only dependents can file for a workers’ compensation settlement. According to the law in Missouri, “dependents” include the surviving spouse, as well as dependent children under the age of 18. Children can continue to receive benefits after the age of 18 if they are students, have served active duty in the military or are incapacitated.

If there is more than one dependent, then the benefits will generally be shared among them. When one of them stops being eligible for benefits, the amount will not be reduced. Instead, the benefits will be shared between the remaining dependents.

What Compensation Can a Dependent Receive?

The law in Missouri states clearly that when a worker dies because of a work-related injury, then his dependents (usually the spouse and children) are entitled to receiving weekly benefits. These benefits are calculated at 66 ⅔ % of the worker’s average weekly wage for the year preceding the accident. The employer or insurance company is also generally required to pay for funeral expenses for up to $5,000.

How Do You Claim the Benefits?

In most cases, the employer or insurer will contact the family of the deceased worker and start paying the benefits. However, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a St. Louis workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to ensure your legally rights are protected.

You Deserve Justice

No amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one. However, if your spouse was also the breadwinner, the financial burden can take a toll on your family. A good St. Louis workers compensation attorney will ensure that you receive the money you deserve while going through these tragic moments.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

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Updated: March 13, 2020