The death of a loved one in an accident on the job usually not only causes immeasurable emotional pain but also significant financial stress for the family that is left behind. Families in Florida are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law when their loved ones are killed on the job, regardless of negligence.
Workers’ compensation benefits, however, never account for the full salary of the person who was killed, although families may be able to recover additional compensation when a loved one died because of negligence of a third party. Wrongful death lawsuits may be filed in such cases in order to obtain compensation for economic and noneconomic damages that are not covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Lawyer for Workplace Deaths in Miami, FL
Was your loved one killed in an accident on the job in South Florida? You should immediately contact The Hoffman Firm for help obtaining all of the compensation your family needs and deserves.
Evan A. Hoffman is a workers’ compensation attorney in Miami who represents clients in communities throughout Miami-Dade County, Palm Beach County, and Broward County. He can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (305) 940-2307 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Florida Death in the Workplace Information Center
- How does workers’ compensation provide for family members of individuals killed on the job?
- When might family members be able to file wrongful death lawsuits in these cases?
- Where can I learn more about workplace fatalities?
With only a few exceptions, most employers in Florida are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Florida Statute § 440.16 establishes that families of workers killed on the job are entitled to certain benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits will cover actual funeral expenses up to $7,500. Compensation also includes the following for the different family members:
- Spouse — If there is no child, a spouse will receive 50 percent of the average weekly wage. If there is a child or children, the compensation includes an additional 16 ⅔ percent. Surviving spouses can also be entitled to compensation for payment of any postsecondary student fees for up to 1,800 classroom hours of instruction at any career center or payment of student fees at any community college established for up to 80 semester hours.
- Child / Children — If there is no spouse, each surviving childe is entitled to 33 ⅓ percent of the average weekly wage.
- Parents — Each parent is entitled to 25 percent.
- Brothers, Sisters, and Grandchildren — Each brother, sister, or grandchild is entitled to 15 percent.
The predetermined maximum benefits for these cases is $150,000.
Workers’ compensation insurance generally makes employers in Florida immune to any liability for an employee’s death. Florida Statute § 440.11, however, does establish exceptions for employers who commit intentional torts that cause the deaths of employees.
An employer’s actions will be deemed to constitute an intentional tort and not an accident only if the employee proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that:
- The employer deliberately intended to injure the employee; or
- The employer engaged in conduct that the employer knew, based on prior similar accidents or on explicit warnings specifically identifying a known danger, was virtually certain to result in injury or death to the employee, and the employee was not aware of the risk because the danger was not apparent and the employer deliberately concealed or misrepresented the danger so as to prevent the employee from exercising informed judgment about whether to perform the work.
Even when an employer is not directly responsible for a worker’s death, wrongful death lawsuits may still be filed against negligent third parties. Depending on the circumstances of the fatal accident, some of the parties that families may be able to seek compensation from include, but are not limited to:
- Contractors or subcontractors;
- Maintenance companies;
- Manufacturers or sellers of defective tools and machinery;
- Project managers; and
- Property owners.
Occupational Health Surveillance | Florida Department of Health — The Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP) at the Florida Department of Health is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). On this website, you can find various reports and fact sheets. You can also use an interactive map to explore occupational health costs in Florida.
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) — The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is the principal fact-finding agency for the federal government in the field of labor economics and statistics, and it collects, analyzes, and disseminates statistical data to the American public. On this section of the BLS website, you can find data about fatal occupational injuries sorted by industry, occupation, and worker age. The BLS website provides statistics relating to 1999 through 2014, but you can also visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website to find summaries of work-related fatalities for 2009 through 2016.
The Hoffman Firm | Miami Workplace Death Lawyer
If your loved one was killed on the job in South Florida, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm can fight to make sure that you receive the compensation your family needs to pay for any medical bills, lost wages, and other considerations.
Miami workers’ compensation attorney Evan A. Hoffman helps families all over Aventura, Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Homestead, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, and many surrounding areas. Call (305) 940-2307 or submit an online contact form today to receive a full evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Evan A. Hoffman
Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.Read More