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What protects surviving family after a deadly work incident?

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2022 | Workers' Compensation |

Most workers’ compensation claims originate from the person affected by a job safety issue. Those who develop a work-related medical issue due to chemical exposure or who get hurt in a machinery malfunction can claim workers’ compensation benefits to replace some of their lost wages and cover the cost of their medical treatment.

In a tiny subset of workers’ compensation claims, the people seeking benefits will be surviving family members, not the employee hurt on the job. Both occupational illnesses and injuries at work sometimes prove fatal, meaning the worker will not be able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Family members may have the right to ask for certain benefits when someone dies because of their employment.

What will Texas workers’ compensation provide?

As with those hurt on the job, those who lose a loved one to job-related medical issues can expect full coverage for medical treatment related to that issue in most scenarios. Additionally, workers’ compensation will reimburse the family for funeral or burial expenses. As of 2022, there may be up to $10,000 of burial or funeral benefits available.

Wage replacement is also an option. The death benefits available through Texas workers’ compensation will replace up to 75% of a worker’s average weekly wage. There is a maximum benefit amount, so those who lose a particularly high-earning family member may actually receive less than 75% of their weekly wage. Both surviving spouses and children, as well as other dependent family members, can potentially receive death benefits to replace the wages of a deceased family member.

Death benefit claims can become complicated quickly

Whether you need help paying for the funeral or replacing your loved one’s wages, you can expect a difficult process ahead of you. It is common for families to need to appeal denied benefits and to negotiate to get proper compensation for their losses.

Partnering with a lawyer for this process can be helpful. If your claim is successful, you may even be able to secure lawyer’s costs as part of your claim. A claim for attorneys fees is only possible in a death benefits workers’ compensation claim, not in other workers’ compensation claims.

Trying to handle a complex claim on your own while also grieving could be a mistake. Learning more about your family’s rights to workers’ compensation benefits can help you mitigate the tragic consequences of your family member’s death.