Sadly, many cases both in Atlanta and throughout the rest of the U.S. are literal examples of people’s jobs being the death of them. According to information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 saw a rate of 3.2 work-related deaths among every 100,000 full-time employees in America. These deaths not only represent an enormous emotional loss to victims’ families, but a significant financial one, as well. The expenses related to death coupled with the loss of one’s income can leave families facing serious financial troubles.
State workers’ compensation funds will typically extend death benefits to the dependents of victims of a fatal accident in the workplace. These benefits are specifically meant to compensate for the loss of financial support that these families are forced to endure. The State Board of Workers Compensation in Georgia lists these benefits as being two-thirds of the deceased’s average weekly salary up to $525 per week. Dependents eligible for these benefits include:
- Dependent stepchildren
Scenarios involving benefits to unmarried partners are typically handled on a case-by-case basis. For example, death benefits may be extended to a victim’s partners if they had children together. Yet the court may choose to not consider benefits if no actual familial ties were involved. In a similar vein, widowed spouses are only eligible to receive a maximum of $150,000 unless they remarry.
Those left without adequate compensation from these death benefits may be left with little choice but to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against their loved one’s companies. Such action would be independent of anything involving the state’s awarding (or failure to reward) workers compensation death benefits.
While this information is not intended to be legal advice, it does offer some knowledge to families in the wake of an expected death.