Regardless of what safety measures employers institute, accidents can occur in any work environment. While some workplace incidents cause minor injuries, others cause devastating harm that is insurmountable, resulting in worker death. When people lose their lives due to workplace accidents, their surviving family members often experience not only emotional trauma but also significant financial hardships. Thankfully, the dependents of a person who died due to harm suffered at work can often recover workers’ compensation benefits to help address their economic concerns. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is an experienced Bristol County workers’ compensation lawyer, and if you lost a loved one due to a work-related injury or illness, he can aid you in seeking any benefits you may be owed. Mr. Meehan regularly helps people pursue workers’ compensation survivor benefits in Bristol County and in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties as well.Eligibility for Workers’ Compensation Benefits Following a Worker Death
The Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) states that an employer must pay certain benefits to a deceased worker’s dependents following the workers’ death. The Act explains that certain parties are conclusively presumed to be entirely dependent on the deceased employee for support. These include husbands and wives who lived with the deceased party at the time of his or her death and wives who lived apart from their husbands for justifiable cause or who were deserted.
It also includes children of the deceased person that are under the age of eighteen or who suffer from a physical or mental inability to earn an income, that either lived with the deceased person or that the deceased person was legally bound to support. If the deceased person was an unmarried child under the age of eighteen, and the child’s parents lived with the child at the time of the injury that caused his or her death, they will be considered dependents as well. In all other matters, whether a person is a dependent will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.Benefits Available for Worker Death
A surviving widow or widower will be paid compensation weekly in an amount that equals two-thirds of the average weekly wage of the deceased employee, subject to state wage limits. If the surviving spouse had dependent children with the deceased worker, he or she will be granted additional benefits. If the deceased worker had a child with a person other than his or her spouse, the surviving spouse and each child will divide the death benefit equally. A surviving spouse that remarries forfeits the right to continued benefits, but a child’s benefits may not be terminated before the child turns eighteen. The total benefits paid may not exceed an amount equal to the state average weekly wage at the time of death multiplied by 250. If a surviving spouse or disabled child is not self-supporting at the time the maximum benefits have been paid, however, benefits may be continued.Speak to a Knowledgeable Bristol County Attorney
Losing a loved one due to a work-related injury or illness can be devastating, and while money cannot repair the emotional damages survivors suffer, workers’ compensation benefits may help to alleviate some of the financial burdens caused by the loss. If you lost a loved one due to an injury or illness that arose out of employment, you should speak to an attorney about your rights as soon as possible. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a knowledgeable lawyer who can aid you in pursuing a just outcome. Mr. Meehan is mindful of the overwhelming economic effects of losing a loved one in a work accident, and if you engage his services, he will work tirelessly to help you seek any available benefits. He has an office in Taunton, and he often represents surviving family members of deceased employees in workers’ compensation claims in Bristol County and also in Plymouth and Norfolk Counties. You can contact Mr. Meehan by calling 508-822-6600 or through the online form to set up a complimentary and confidential conference.