Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Surviving Family Members

On February 16, 2015, a worker died after being trapped under hundreds of pounds of gravel for several hours. He and another worker were doing repair work on a concrete silo at a plant in Marietta when he allegedly slipped and fell. The other worker called 911 around 3:00 p.m., the body was recovered around 9:00 p.m.

On June 22, 2015, it was reported that a worker in Augusta was killed when he fell almost 70 feet from a crane he was operating. The crane operator fell out of the crane box almost 70 feet after an accident. His death was not the first death at the Augusta plant. There was a death in 2009, and another in 1987, when a worker slipped and fell approximately nine stories. The employee in 1987 had been working on building one of the towers at the plant.

On August 6, 2015, a maintenance worker in Waycross, was purportedly killed while performing welding work on an asphalt silo.  The employee was cutting a piece of metal when the safety equipment failed, causing him to be trapped and crushed.  County Coroner pronounced him dead at the scene. The worker’s death is under investigation by Waycross police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

From October, 2014 to September, 2015, over 30 workers died as a result of work related injuries.

If your loved one was killed during the course of their regular job duties, or as a result of injuries sustained in a work related accident, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Who Besides the Employee Can Receive Worker’s Compensation Benefits?

If an employee dies as a result of a work-related accident, the employee’s legal representatives and/or dependents may be entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits. Dependents include surviving spouses, children, or dependent stepchildren.

How Much Will Be Paid in Benefits?

Dependents may receive up to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage, with a maximum benefit amount of $550.00 per week if the death occurred on or after July 1, 2015.  If you are a widowed spouse without dependent children, you are limited to a total amount of $220,000.00 so long as you do not remarry or cohabitate with another.

What Happens if My Loved One’s Employer or Insurance Carrier Denies My Claim?

You have the right to appeal the denial of the claim by your loved one’s employer or insurance carrier.  You must file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of your loved one’s death, or you lose the rights to any benefits.

Will Funeral Expenses Be Paid?

Funeral expenses may be paid out, up to the maximum allowed under the law at the time of death.

What Should I do if My Loved One Died Due to a Job-Related Injury?

You should contact your loved one’s employer immediately to advise them of the death.  The employer should already have a record of the injury or accident, however, you should send written confirmation of the injury or accident to the employer – within 30 days of the accident.  You should contact the State Board of Workers’ Compensation at (404) 656-3818 to advise them that your loved one has passed. You should also consider contacting an attorney to review the case and help you gather all the evidence you will need in order to obtain benefits.

Contact 1Georgia Injury Lawyers, PLLC

If your loved one has died as a result of a work related accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to receive worker’s compensation benefits. For help understanding your options and the law, reach out to an experienced worker’s compensation attorney, like the lawyers at 1Georgia Injury Lawyers, PLLC.  We can walk you through the entire process and answer all of your questions. Contact us today for a consultation.