Death benefits are designed to provide monetary support for those who will suffer most from the worker’s death.
In Missouri, businesses and companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Commonly referred to as workers’ comp, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance policy that is meant to compensate a worker that is hurt while performing an activity that is within the scope of their employment. In addition, workers’ compensation also covers the families of workers that lose their lives due to being injured at work.
What is the family entitled to receive?
Due to the nature of workers’ compensation, if you lose your loved one to an injury that happens at work, you are not allowed to sue the employer in civil court. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, you may not file a wrongful death suit. Death benefits are paid directly to both the spouse and any remaining children until recipients meet the criteria below.
- The children of the deceased reach age 18 (or 22 if they are enrolled in school) or become a members of the armed forces. Once they reach the age of 18, the rest of the workers’ compensation they were receiving is redistributed to the remaining family members.
- The spouse is no longer living. If the spouse passes away, their portion is redistributed among the other survivors such as children. If the spouse remarries, they forfeit the workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits are then redistributed among the remaining family members.
- If there are no more children who are under the age of 18 or unmarried spouses, then no one receives benefits other than having the expense of having a burial covered.
What are the exceptions that allow the filing of a wrongful death suit?
There are times when the grieving family is eligible to initiate a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit. If someone other than the employer is involved in the death, then the surviving family members might be able to receive compensation through a wrongful death suit. If there is a third party involved, it may be difficult to prove your case in court which is why collecting evidence immediately after the death is so critical.
If you lose a loved one while they are at work, you do have the right to be compensated monetarily for your loss. The first place to start is to hire a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney to decipher how to proceed.
Free Workers Compensation Consultations for your Death Benefits
Our compassionate legal team has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need. Contact our St. Louis, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300 or complete our Online Case Evaluation Form. All communications are returned promptly.