Every year, thousands of workers are killed in their workplaces in the United States. In Georgia alone, over a hundred people have died due to injuries sustained while at work every year for the past decade.
While nothing can fully compensate loved ones for such a devastating loss, family members can apply for death benefits under Georgia worker’s compensation laws in order to partially recover from the unexpected financial burden of suddenly losing a family member.
How to Qualify For Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in GA
Under Georgia law, the surviving spouse and any dependent minor children of the deceased have the right to claim compensation under workers’ comp. In order for the family to qualify for death benefits under workers’ compensation, the deceased must have died as a direct result of injuries sustained in a workplace accident. The injuries could be related to a number of different types of work accidents: falls, car accidents, fires, accidents with construction equipment, and other less common injuries.
This could include any accident occurring in the workplace or any accident occurring while performing his or her work duties in a location other than the workplace, provided he or she is performing required job tasks at the time of the accident. For example, a cable repair person killed while on site at a client’s house would be considered killed in the workplace. If an employee suffers medical complications due to exposure to dangerous chemicals or toxins while working and dies due to these complications, survivors are also entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits.
Unlike a standard wrongful death case, there is no need to prove negligence of the company or any third party to be entitled to compensation. Even if the accident was in part caused by the carelessness of the deceased worker, family members will not be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation death benefits. There are only a few limited exceptions to this, such as if the worker was intoxicated on the job. Because of the wide definition of work-related deaths under Georgia workers’ compensation law, the dependent spouse and children of the deceased are usually eligible for benefits.
Types of Georgia Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
Under Georgia statute, after the workplace death of a spouse or parent, the dependent spouse and minor children of the deceased are entitled to ongoing compensation equivalent to 2/3 of the average wages earned by the deceased employee each week. This is capped at a maximum of $500.00 per week, regardless of the deceased person’s salary.
Children will continue to receive these benefits until they turn 18 or until they turn 21 if they choose to attend college. Spouses without children will receive benefits until a total of $150,000 has been paid. In addition to the weekly compensation benefits, surviving family members are entitled to receive up to $7,500 to pay for funeral expenses.
It can be a complicated process to file for the fair compensation you deserve under Georgia Workers’ Compensation law. At Van Sant Law, LLC, we are expert Georgia worker’s compensation injury attorneys, and we can take care of all the details for you to get a fair settlement, so you don’t have to worry about it. If a family member has been killed in the workplace or due to injuries resulting from a workplace accident, fill out our free, no-obligation online contact form, or call us at (404) 991-5950 for a free consultation today.