When you lose a family member in a work accident, you may be entitled to death benefits. Richmond workers’ compensation attorneys understand the pain and grief associated with the loss of a loved one, and they understand the law and can help you navigate the claim process.
The latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that every two hours, an American worker dies of injuries sustained on the job. While this may be a shocking number, it’s not that surprising when you consider all the jobs people hold and all the possible hazards workers encounter every day.
Some of the common causes of on-the-job death include:
- electrical injuries;
- respiratory distress due to airborne irritants; and
- various injuries resulting from poorly maintained or malfunctioning machinery.
In many cases, these deaths happen through no fault of the victim. These deaths often occur because of unsafe workplace conditions, unforeseeable weather conditions, irresponsible behavior on the part of co-workers or poor employee training.
Whatever the reason for the accident, the surviving family will have to face the future in the best way they can and address the changes that have taken place in their lives. After the tragic death of a family member, a family suffers not only emotionally but also financially. The death of someone who contributed to the support of the household can leave the dependent loved ones unable to pay the bills and facing the extra expenses of medical and funeral costs.
Death benefits help the family of the deceased live from day to day in the wake of the loss. There are specific rules that govern workers’ compensation for benefits after a loved one’s death, and they vary by state. That is why it’s important for you to educate yourself about how these benefits work in the state of Virginia and to contact a lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation cases.
The Death Benefits Process
It’s best to contact Richmond workers compensation attorneys as soon after the death of your family member as possible. That way you can begin to receive the benefits for which you’re eligible as soon as possible. Like any other legal process, the issuing of benefits can take some time. There’s also a statute of limitations to consider when pursuing this type of claim.
There are two different kinds of benefits: the type that’s paid to dependent family members and the type that’s meant for partially dependent family. Those who were dependent on the income of the deceased (who live off the deceased’s income without an alternate source of support) are eligible to receive two-thirds of their late family member’s income. If there are more than one dependent, they may have to divide the benefits between them. The duration of benefits in this situation is 500 weeks, which adds up to over 9 years.
Those partially dependent on the deceased worker’s income are also eligible to receive part of the deceased’s income, but the amount depends on how the family split the household expenses. It’s calculated by starting with two-thirds of the deceased’s income as a starting base and is adjusted down according to the extent to which the survivor was dependent on the income of the deceased. For example, if the beneficiary is the wife of the deceased, and she depended on her late husband for half the household income, she would be eligible to one-third of the decedent’s income.
Contact Richmond Workers’ Compensation Attorneys – Injured Workers Law Firm
If you’ve been a victim of wrongful death of a loved one, contact the worker’s compensation attorney at Injured Workers’ Law Firm at 804-775-7755. For more information on workers’ compensation, download our Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia. You deserve to be treated fairly and to receive the compensation that’s legally yours, and we can help.