Injuries that occur on the job are always unfortunate. I think we can all agree the most unfortunate situation is the worker who suffers an injury with fatal consequences. It happens with some frequency here in Florida. For example, I did a quick search for “worker deaths in Florida” limited to just the last month. The first page was filled with all types of different unfortunate stories:
Construction worker killed by street sweeper in Jacksonville – May 13
Mushroom pallets crush worker to death – June 8
Florida man dies after he was trapped under lawnmower in pond – May 30
Construction worker run over by dump truck – May 18
Florida farm worker dies after complaining of heat exhaustion – May 19
Given the frequency of deaths resulting from workplace injuries, you may ask what benefits are available to the families who have lost a loved one (possibly the breadwinner) in such a tragic situation? The Florida Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits to workers injured on the job. It also provides for Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits to eligible survivors of workers who have died because of a work-related injury or illness.
Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits
If a worker dies because of a compensable injury, the eligible dependents are entitled to certain fixed Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits. The available Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits (accident dates on or after 10/1/03) are as follows:
- Compensation up to $150,000
- Funeral expenses up to $7,500
- Educational benefits for the spouse
To be a compensable injury, i.e. one that entitles eligible dependents to Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits, death must result from the accident within one year. If the injured worker does not pass away within one year, Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits are only awarded if death follows continuous disability and occurs within five years. In death cases resulting from an occupational disease, the death must occur within 350 weeks (6.76 years) from the date of last exposure.
Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits ; Compensation Benefits
To be eligible for Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits, an individual must meet both of the following:
(1)must be one of the following: spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, grandchild, and
(2) that person must have been dependent on the deceased.
What equates to dependency and what money benefits are available to each dependent can be extremely fact specific. Therefore, if you have questions about Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits, the advisable thing to do would be to speak with an experienced Tampa workers’ compensation attorney regarding the specific facts and circumstances of your case. Our attorneys would be happy to speak with you about Florida Workers Compensation Death Benefits. To do so, please contact our office for a free consultation.