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How a Workers Comp Attorney Can Help After the Death of a Loved One


August 2, 2017

Losing a loved one is devastating, especially if your loved one was killed while he was trying to make a living at work. In addition to being overwhelmed with grief, the surviving family members sometimes must worry about making ends meet if the victim was the primary breadwinner of the home. Fortunately, a Denver workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help these families move forward after a tragic loss.

Most people know that workers’ compensation is paid to workers who are injured while on the job, but many people are unaware that it can also be paid to the surviving family members of a victim who is killed at work.

How much can family members recover?

In the state of Colorado, death benefits paid through workers’ compensation are equal to two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wage. The minimum and maximum amounts will vary every year, but in 2017, the weekly minimum is $234.96 and the weekly maximum is $939.82. How much are workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado?

Who can recover death benefits?

Many people may grieve the loss of a loved one, but only certain individuals are legally permitted to recover death benefits through workers’ compensation. The victim’s spouse is eligible to receive weekly death benefits for the rest of her life unless she decides to remarry, in which case the payments would stop. If the victim had any dependent children at the time of his death, these individuals would also qualify for death benefits. Children who qualify will receive death benefits until they reach the age of 18, or 21 if they are full-time students.

The spouse and children of the victim will automatically be considered dependents, but other members may qualify if they can prove they were partially or completely dependent on the victim. For example, if a victim was taking care of his elderly parents at the time of his death, the parents may qualify for death benefits if they can show that they relied on the victim financially.

If the victim did not have any dependents, the workers’ compensation insurance company may pay a lump sum to the victim’s estate instead of paying death benefits. Regardless of whether the victim had any dependents, the insurance company will also pay up to $7,000 in burial and funeral expenses.

What are the most dangerous industries?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry has more annual fatalities than any other industry. OSHA even identified the most common causes of construction deaths, now known as the “fatal four,” which include falling, being struck by an object, electrocution, and being caught in or caught between two objects.

Construction may be the most dangerous industry, but unfortunately, fatalities can happen in any industry. If you have lost a loved one due to a workplace injury, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Call us at 303-321-4878 or contact Mark A. Simon to discuss your right to recover compensation during a free consultation