What Happens to Your Workers Comp Case If You Die from an Injury or Illness?
When a workplace accident occurs, it can lead to catastrophic injuries, causing disabilities or even death. In some occupations, the worker may die from illnesses arising from exposure to toxic chemicals or substances. When that happens, the surviving spouse and dependent children may be eligible for workers' comp benefits.
Whether the injured workers die from their work-related injury or illness, our workers compensation lawyers at Larrimer & Larrimer have been helping surviving family members with their claims in Columbus, Ohio, since 1929.
Those who are facing troubles with their workers' compensation claims in Columbus, Ohio, should reach out to the legal team at Larrimer & Larrimer to discuss their case and learn more about their legal rights.
When Does a Workers' Compensation Cover a Work-related Death?
Under Ohio's workers' compensation laws, the deceased person's dependent children and surviving spouse may receive death benefits if their death occurred due to work-related injuries or illnesses.
If the worker dies outside of the workplace while carrying out their job duties, their dependent family members may be able to file a claim to receive death benefits.
It's important to understand that a fatal accident does not have to occur at the workplace. The law extends worker compensation benefits for injuries or deaths that occur in the course and scope of employment.
Workers who die from an occupational disease or illness may also create grounds for the surviving family members to pursue a claim.
There are a lot of intricacies that the deceased's dependent children and surviving spouse must navigate following the death of their loved one.
What Happens to Your Workers' Comp Case If You Die?
Depending on the severity of the worker's injuries, the workers' compensation claim can take a while to resolve. Larrimer & Larrimer can explain what happens if short term disability is denied.
During this time, anything can happen, even the death of the claimant. When that happens, it can affect the damages the surviving spouse and heirs may receive.
Non-work-related Injuries as the Cause of Death
When a worker files for workers' comp death benefits, they may be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), which pays the claimants for any disabilities suffered from the nature of their injuries.
If the worker passes away due to non-work-related injuries during the workers' compensation claims process, their dependents may not receive PPD or the PPD might be far less than if they were alive.
It's important to understand that if a worker dies from non-work-related injuries, the temporary total disability (TTD), wage differential, and other death benefits may stop. This can have an adverse impact on the surviving spouse, leading to economic hardships.
Work-related Injuries as the Cause of Death
At times, the injuries sustained from a work-related accident can turn fatal, leading to the early death of the claimant.
When the worker dies from work-related injuries during the workers' compensation claims process, the surviving spouse and heirs may be eligible for the death benefits.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Death Benefits Claim?
When an injured worker dies from a work-related injury or illness, the surviving dependents must file a workers' compensation claim within two years from the date of the fatal accident or occupational disease.
Death Benefits for the Surviving Family Members in Ohio
It can be challenging to take care of all of the members of a household in today's economy with a single source of income. When a primary earner dies in a work-related accident or illness, there are specific laws in Ohio that address the financial support for the surviving dependents.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) provides ongoing death benefits to the surviving dependents, including the spouse and children under the age of 18.
Under the law, the BWC must process the payments every two weeks, which gets divided among the eligible family members.
Depending on the situation of the surviving family members, the workers' compensation death benefits may stop after a couple of years.
How Long Does the Death Benefits Last in Ohio?
There are no restrictions on the number of years a surviving spouse may receive death benefits. Under the law, the surviving spouse will continue to receive compensation until they die.
However, if the surviving spouse remarries, they may receive a two-year lump sum payment, after which the benefits will stop.
When it comes to death benefits payments to the surviving child, they will continue to receive compensation until they reach the age of 19 (25 if they are in school).
Surviving children with disabilities will continue to receive benefits until their death or when they recover from their disabilities.
Damages Available in a Workers' Compensation Claim
Workers' compensation benefits after the death of the injured worker may include funeral expenses, which are typically capped at $5,500 in Ohio.
In addition to funeral expenses, the dependent children and spouse may receive two-thirds of the deceased worker's average weekly wage. The law sets the maximum and minimum limits on paying benefits, and these are $950 and $475.
Depending on the circumstances, the dependent children and spouse might receive additional death benefits, such as accruals from scheduled losses before the injured worker's death.
If there is no surviving spouse and children, the BWC is only required to pay for the funeral of the deceased worker up to the maximum amount prescribed in the state law.
Larrimer & Larrimer Can Help Expedite the Workers' Comp Claims!
Losing a loved one in a work-related accident can be a tragedy that can be difficult to recover from. It not only impacts the surviving family members emotionally but can also lead to financial problems. Although workers' compensation benefits can help cover some of the damages, pursuing these types of claims without legal help can be challenging.
Those who have lost their loved ones in a work-related accident in Columbus, Ohio, should call to schedule a free consultation with the skilled workers' compensation attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer.
They have the knowledge and expertise to protect the affected party's rights, maximize their compensation benefits, and assist them in achieving peace of mind as they recover from the loss of their loved one.