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Fatal Work Accidents & Death Benefits

A Columbus Columbus Work Compensation Lawyer Is Here for the Families Who Need Us Most

While most work accidents result only in minor injuries, some can tragically result in death. If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident who died either at the scene or later succumbed to their injuries, you may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation. In order to receive these benefits, you need to understand what benefits you are entitled to and how to navigate the claims process. An experienced Columbus work compensation lawyer can explain what you need to know and help you file your claim. 

You May Be Eligible to Receive Death Benefits

When a worker dies due to a work-related accident or illness, the surviving family members may seek death benefits through Ohio’s workers compensation program. This includes the following: 

  • The worker’s surviving spouse
  • The worker’s surviving children under the age of 18
  • Surviving children between the ages of 18 and 25 who are full-time students at an accredited educational institution
  • Surviving children over the age of 18 who are mentally or physically disabled

Other dependent family members may also qualify. If you have lost a loved one and believe you are entitled to death benefits, a Columbus workers compensation attorney can review your case and determine whether you have a claim. 

How Death Benefits Can Help Your Family

Death benefits can be a vital safety net for families who have lost a provider due to a work-related accident or illness. You may qualify for three types of benefits: 

  • An income replacement benefit that is equal to two-thirds of the worker’s wages or salary, subject to a maximum and minimum average weekly wage
  • Reimbursement for any medical expenses incurred prior to death
  • A funeral benefit up to $5,500

For the income replacement, it is important to note that the death benefit will be allocated among the surviving dependents. Surviving children will receive benefits until they turn 18 or remain enrolled in school full-time until age 25. The surviving spouse may be eligible for a lifetime benefit unless they remarry, at which point they would receive a lump-sum benefit equal to the benefits they would receive over two years. Determining the amount your family may be entitled to can be complex, but a Columbus work compensation lawyer can help. 

Accrued Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In some cases, the worker dies while already receiving workers compensation benefits. In this case. Even if their death was not the result of their work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to the remaining workers compensation benefits. This is a separate claim from any claim you may be entitled to for death benefits, requiring an additional application. 

Contact a Columbus Work Compensation Lawyer at Malek & Malek to Get the Compensation You Need

It is important to note that these benefits will not be paid to you automatically. Furthermore, there are strict deadlines – you must apply within two years of your loved one’s death for death benefits, and within one year for any accrued workers compensation benefits. A Columbus work compensation lawyer  can help you navigate the claim process quickly and efficiently. To discuss your case and whether you have a claim, contact us today at 614-444-7440 to schedule a free consultation.