WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DEATH CLAIMS
There are over 14 work-related fatalities reported in the United States each day. Sadly, it’s not unusual for surviving family members to endure many legal and financial challenges in the aftermath of a tragic loss. Many families can’t even find time to properly grieve because they’re struggling to pay off costly medical bills, estate taxes, funeral expenses, and various probate fees.
If your family member passed away due to an occupational injury or illness, you can pursue “death benefits” or “dependency benefits” by filing a claim with the Florida Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. However, because many caveats, exceptions, and pitfalls tend to accompany this challenging legal process, it’s critical that you retain the services of a qualified and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
At Van Dingenen Law, our Orlando workers’ compensation attorneys are proud to provide personalized legal services, compassionate guidance, and customized litigation strategies to the residents of Florida. We are armed with over 25 years of legal experience and the resources to effectively navigate and resolve the most complex workers’ compensation matters.
Filing A Claim in Florida
Per Florida Statute § 440.16, an employer can be held liable if “death results from the accident within 1 year thereafter or follows continuous disability and results from the accident within 5 years thereafter.” The surviving dependents need to file a claim petition for death benefits within 2 years of the accident that caused their loved one’s death.
A “dependent” constitutes any immediate family members who relied on the worker for financial support. The following family members are eligible to receive income benefits:
- A spouse
- A child under the age of 18
- A child who is a full-time student under the age of 22
- A child of any age who is mentally or physically incapable of holding gainful employment
A worker’s parents, siblings, and grandchildren can also qualify as dependents so long as their case meets the eligibility requirements:
- They are dependent on the worker for financial support
- The worker didn’t have a spouse or children
Workers’ compensation death benefits are not considered taxable income at state or federal levels. These funds are paid in regular installments and account for a percentage of the worker’s average weekly wages. Of course, the total compensation amount — including medical bills, educational opportunities, and funeral expenses (up to $7,500) — can’t exceed $150,000.
Of course, there are specific steps that claimants need to complete to safeguard their right to damages. For example, the dependent survivors have 30 days to send the employer a written notification stating that their loved one has passed away. They also need to submit certain documents to the employer’s insurance carrier, including marriage certificates, death certificates, and birth certificates for any minor dependents. At Van Dingenen Law, we can review your case, explain your legal options, and guide you through each step of this confusing process.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Contact the Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers at Van Dingenen Law if you’re ready to pursue benefits that safeguard your standard of living. We know that it’s difficult to grieve or achieve a sense of closure when you’re worried about affording your daily expenses. Our legal team considers it a duty and a privilege to manage the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus on healing and spending time with your family.
We have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Contact Van Dingenen Law at (407) 967-5377 to pursue restitution and closure today.