After a fatal construction accident, compensation may be available to surviving family members through a Workers’ Compensation claim. The deceased worker’s spouse may recover compensation, and so can any dependents the worker had at the time of his or her death.
Survivors’ Benefits in Workers’ Compensation Claim
If a Workers’ Compensation claim is filed, the primary beneficiaries are spouses and children (under 18 years old). If there was a surviving spouse but no children, and the surviving spouse remarries, a final lump sum payment covering two years of compensation will be provided.
If there is no spouse or children, parents who were totally dependent may be entitled to these benefits. In the event there aren’t dependent parents, then any person who was at least 50 percent financially dependent on the deceased worker may be entitled to the benefits.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
If a fatal construction accident was the result of a third party’s negligence, a wrongful death claim may be filed. Remember, employers who offer Workers’ Comp benefits cannot be sued in a lawsuit.
Recipients of a wrongful death settlement include the spouse and children. When there is no spouse or children, beneficiaries may include parents or siblings. Any other relatives may be considered the next of kin if there is no spouse, children, parents or siblings.
Seek legal counsel with Franks & Rechenberg to discuss whether your loved one’s fatal accident may warrant a Workers’ Comp claim or may warrant pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney can explain the options available. Call us at (847) 854-7700.