Most people are aware that the Florida Division of Workers' Compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer injuries on the job, but families whose loved ones are killed on the job can also be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. When a family breadwinner dies in an accident on the job, multiple dependents may be eligible for benefits.
Some familial relationships can be more complicated, leading to disputes over who is entitled to death benefits. In other cases, employers or their workers’ compensation insurance companies may deny claims in an attempt to avoid paying death benefits.
Lawyer for Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in Miami, FL
Did your loved one die as the result of fatal injuries sustained in an accident on the job in South Florida? It is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible for help obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits you and your family are entitled to.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Miami who represents clients in Boynton Beach, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, Homestead, Aventura, Hallandale Beach, and several other nearby areas of South Florida. You can receive an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (305) 940-2307 to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation.
Florida Death Benefits Information Center
- What kinds of death benefits are dependents entitled to?
- Which family members receive benefits and how much do they get?
- Where can I learn more about workers’ compensation death benefits in South Florida?
Under Florida Statute § 440.16, an employer can be required to provide various forms of compensation when a worker dies within one year of a workplace accident or within five years of continuous disability resulting from an accident in the workplace. Some of the death benefits that family member may be entitled to include:
- Actual funeral expenses of up to $7,500, to be paid within 14 days after receiving the bill;
- Weekly compensation to dependents, as defined by law, up to a total of $150,000; and
- Payment of any postsecondary student fees for the surviving spouse, 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, so long as the spouse meets and maintains the regular admission requirements of, and is registered at, such career center or community college, and makes satisfactory academic progress as defined by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled within seven years of the worker’s death.
Florida Statute § 440.16(1)(b) establishes the percentages of average weekly wages that people are entitled to on account of dependency upon the deceased in the following order of preference:
- Spouse — A spouse will receive 50 percent of the average weekly wage if the couple had no child, but the compensation includes an additional 16 ⅔ percent if there is a child or children. When the deceased is survived by a spouse and also a child or children, whether such child or children are the product of the union existing at the time of death or of a former marriage or marriages, the judge of compensation claims is allowed to provide for the payment of compensation in whatever manner appears just and proper and for the best interests of the respective parties. If the surviving spouse remarries, the spouse is entitled to a lump-sum payment equal to 26 weeks of compensation at the rate of 50 percent of the average weekly wage, unless the $150,000 limit is exceeded, in which case the surviving spouse will receive a lump-sum payment equal to the remaining available benefits in lieu of any further indemnity benefits.
- Child / Children — Each surviving child receives 33 ⅓ percent of the average weekly wage if there is no spouse.
- Parents — Each parent is entitled to 25 percent to be paid during the continuance of dependency.
- Brothers, Sisters, and Grandchildren — Each brother, sister, or grandchild is entitled to 15 percent.
Workers Memorial Day | Fight For Florida — The South Florida Council on Occupational Safety and Health (South Florida COSH) prepared this report about workplace deaths in Florida with a focus on Southeast Florida. It was released on April 28, 2015, 44 years after Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act that established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Workers Memorial Day is observed every years on April 28, and this report touches on fatal occupational injuries by industry in Florida as well as how Florida compares to the rest of the nation when it comes to fatalities in the workplace.
Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect | American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) — The AFL–CIO is the largest federation of unions in the United States, representing more than 12 million active and retired workers. It produces this annual report on the state of safety and health protections for America’s workers. You can learn more about workplace fatalities, OSHA inspection and enforcement activity, and state comparisons of fatal occupational injuries.
The Hoffman Firm | Miami Death Benefits Lawyer
If your loved one was killed in a workplace accident in South Florida, you should know that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under state law. The Hoffman Firm helps clients in communities throughout Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County.
Miami workers’ compensation attorney Evan A. Hoffman handles all of the paperwork and complex legal legwork so families can take the time they need to grieve. The Hoffman Firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis so you pay nothing unless you get a financial award, and you can have our lawyer review your case during a free consultation as soon as you call (305) 940-2307 or fill out an online contact form today.
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