Was your loved one killed while on the job in Athens?
Find the best attorney to see your case through.
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act provides that the employee’s dependents may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when an employee dies as the result of a compensable work-related injury. While determining dependency appears to be a relatively simple matter, in reality, it is perhaps the most complex issue to address when handling a death claim.
“Death Claims: A Strategy for Determining Dependency Benefits – an article published by Tom Holder”
Let an experienced Athens, GA workers’ compensation lawyer fight for your family
A workplace fatality shouldn’t stop you from seeking compensation for the death of a loved one. You may still be grieving, but know that you don’t have to go through this process on your own. Contact a knowledgeable Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation attorney today to talk about your case. For starters, your first consultation is free.
Every situation is unique and you shouldn’t try to go it alone. You can win with one of our work accident attorneys by your side. We have decades of experience in workers’ compensation cases involving a fatal workplace accident. We’ll fight for the best possible outcome for you and your family. Help is only a phone call away.
Worker’s comp death benefits provide for funeral expense and family support.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Fatal work accident FAQs
How much does Georgia workers’ compensation pay for death?
Benefit payouts vary from state to state, but usually you can get a burial fee of up to $7,500, and a weekly cash payment of 75 percent of the deceased worker’s average wage up to a certain amount (which in Georgia is a maximum of $575 per week). Benefits end when the surviving spouse reaches age 65 or has received benefits for 400 weeks. This means that a surviving spouse who is deemed the sole beneficiary of the deceased worker’s benefits cannot receive more than $230,000.
Who can receive workers’ comp death benefits in Georgia?
Anyone who is technically a dependent can collect the benefits, but they must be shared amongst multiple dependents. And who classifies as a dependent can be a complicated legal issue. Generally those who qualify as dependents are children or stepchildren under the age of 18, or a spouse, who must sometimes prove they were dependent on the deceased worker’s income. Benefits cease when a child reaches 18 years old (or 22 if they are enrolled in college).
How long do I have to file a workers’ comp claim for a deceased loved one?
You must file a claim for death benefits within 1 year of the employee’s passing. To start this process, you must first notify the deceased employee’s employer, and then the employer is required to notify their insurance carrier. That begins the workers’ compensation death benefits process.
Who pays for the deceased employee’s funeral?
As mentioned above, workers’ compensation benefits cover the burial costs of the deceased, up to $7,500 in the state of Georgia. Even if the deceased employee has no dependents, these costs must, by law, be paid.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
Common causes of fatal accidents at work
Fatal work accidents are commonly caused by a variety of factors, but most are due to a handful of causes. In order of most common to least common, here’s a list of the most frequent causes of fatal work accidents in Georgia:
- Transportation incidents (car or truck crashes)
- Trips, slips and falls
- Workplace violence or other injuries by people or animals
- Hard contact with equipment or an object
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals or other substances/environments
- Explosions or fires
Most deadly industries and occupations
Those working in construction or transportation are at the highest risk of death. Those working as lumberjacks or tree fellers are also at a very steady, year-over-year risk of death.
While a death in the workplace can happen at anytime, to any person, the most common industries in Georgia where on-the-job deaths occur are:
- Forestry and agriculture deaths (lumbermen and famers)
- Waste management
Other types of jobs that have higher occupational death rates include the fishing industry, logging, aviation (pilots of airplanes and other types of aircraft), roofing, steel manufacturing, trucking or delivery services, farming and ranching, landscaping and grounds maintenance work.
It’s vital that you understand your state’s unique rules and what benefits your family is entitled to receive.
Georgia workplace fatalities
Workplace fatalities happen every day across America, in every state. And Georgia is no exception. The most recent available data on workplace fatalities in Georgia is from 2017, where the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 194 fatal injuries at Georgia businesses — some in Athens. That number is up from the previous year, when 171 Georgia residents were killed while on the job.
Some jobs are inherently more dangerous and require extra care on the workers’ behalf to remain vigilant around dangerous equipment and situations. Examples of dangerous jobs where fatalities commonly occur include quarry workers, stuntmen, dump truck drivers, construction, power plant workers, forklift drivers and tree trimmers (lumberjacks).
In all, transportation incidents were responsible for 96 of the 194 work-related deaths in Georgia, and account for roughly half of all workplace deaths. Eighty-nine percent of those deaths were men, and workers between the ages of 55 and 64 accounted for 26 percent of workplace deaths. In Georgia, fatal occupational injuries have ranged from a low of 101 in 2012 to as many as 249 in 1994. Nationwide, there were 5,147 work-related deaths in 2017, down a few dozen from the 5,190 reported in 2016.
While these statistics are sobering, they do little to comfort you if you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal work accident. Under Georgia workers’ compensation law, the surviving spouses and dependents of a deceased worker can receive compensation for death benefits, including medical bills, future lost wages, burial expenses and more. While financial reimbursement will never be able to make up for your tragic loss, it can help provide you and your family some monetary compensation that gives you space to grieve.
We invite you to talk to an experienced Athens workers’ compensation lawyer who can help you navigate Georgia’s complicated fatal work accident compensation law and fight to ensure your family secures the death benefits you need to find closure. Contact Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys.
337 South Milledge Ave, Ste. 209-7
Athens, GA 30605
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