Florida workers’ compensation exists to protect injured employees. It also applies to workers who suffer occupational diseases. Unfortunately, some employees don’t survive their work injuries or illnesses. When such deaths occur, their families may be eligible for workers’ comp death benefits. However, they often need the help of Miami workers’ compensation attorneys to recover comp benefits.
Death benefits cannot replace the dead employee. However, it can save their survivors from financial difficulties. So, suppose you’ve lost a relative to workplace injuries. Then, it’ll be best to hire a Miami workers’ compensation lawyer. Such an attorney can help you get compensation for their death.
Who Can Recover Death Benefits in Miami?
Not all persons connected to the deceased worker can get death benefits. Instead, Florida law allows only a few survivors to recover compensation. Usually, this eligible class must have depended on the survivor financially. So, the following can be death benefits beneficiaries:
- The surviving spouse
- Children under 18, except they’re mentally or physically incapable of earning a livelihood
- Children under 22 if they’re full-time students
Suppose the decedent is unmarried and has no immediate family. Furthermore, imagine that the deceased worker has no children. Then, the following can claim their death benefits:
- Siblings (brothers and sisters)
What Do Miami Death Benefits Cover?
Death benefits refer to the entire amount that a deceased worker’s beneficiaries can recover from a compensation claim. This includes:
- Funeral or burial expenses
- Weekly payments to the beneficiaries
- Educational benefits to the surviving spouse
Essential Timelines for Miami Death Benefits
Notably, you cannot claim death benefits in all cases. Instead, Florida law allows for death benefits where the death occurred within:
- One year of the employee’s accident, or
- Five years from the accident date if it caused a continuing disability
Like other workers’ comp claims, you don’t have forever to claim death benefits. Instead, you must file a claim within two years of the employee’s death. This could also be two years from the date you ought to have known the death was related to the deceased’s job. If you miss this statutory deadline, you may lose your right to compensation.
How Much Can I Get as Death Benefits in Miami?
Death benefits in Miami can net you a significant amount of money. Here, the beneficiaries get death benefits weekly. Currently, there’s a maximum $939 weekly sum for injuries that occurred in 2019 or after. Notably, too, the recoverable percentage differs amongst the beneficiaries. We explain this below.
The Surviving Spouse
The spouse gets 50% of the deceased’s average weekly wages (AWW) before death. This will be the case where the marriage had no children. However, suppose the marriage produced children. Then, the spouse gets an additional 16.7% for the children. A workers’ compensation judge may also grant a different allocation. However, this will only be in situations where such allocation is in the parties’ best interests.
The surviving spouse can also get postsecondary school fees. These fees would cover instruction at a career center. So, the law awards fees for up to 1,800 classroom hours. The spouse can get student fees for up to 80 semester hours for colleges.
Where the deceased had children without marriage, each child gets 33.33% of the AWW. This percentage will also apply where the decedent’s spouse passes away. Thus, in total, more than 66.7% of the deceased’s AWW cannot be issued.
Dependent parents will each get 25% of the deceased’s AWW. Furthermore, brothers, sisters, or grandchildren will get 15% each.
Statutory Caps to Florida Death Benefits
Compensation laws often have statutory limits to compensable amounts. So, despite the losses incurred, compensation cannot exceed these sums. For example, in Florida, workers’ comp benefits for funeral expenses cannot exceed $7,500. In addition, there’s a statutory cap on the general compensable sum. That is, the dependents cannot get more than $150,000. This includes the general death benefits, funeral costs, and other expenses.
Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Get You Death Benefits
Have you lost a relative or other loved one to work-related injuries or diseases? If so, you can recover workers’ comp death benefits. Notably, too, such benefits will cover the expenses their death caused and other bills. First, however, you’ll need the best Miami workers’ compensation attorneys.
Our lawyers have decades of experience handling workers’ comp claims. We’ve also won significant comp benefits for our clients. So, if you hire us, you can rest assured of the best results for your case. It’ll thus be best to call us today for a FREE consultation.