What are your legal rights if a family member was killed in a construction accident?
Statistics published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) show that 21.4% of workplace fatalities in 2015 were in construction.
Leading causes of death were falls, struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
Many construction accidents can be avoided with better training and additional safety protocols. But what happens if the worst occurs? Here is some information about survivors benefits if a loved one is killed on a construction job site.
Michigan law requires payment of survivors benefits to qualifying dependents when a family member dies on-the-job. Weekly benefits should equal 80% of the employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. Payments continue for a maximum of 500 weeks (9+ years). A $6,000 funeral expense must also be paid.
Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for a workplace death. This is true even if an employer was careless. Co-workers are extended the same protection and cannot be sued for their mistakes.
Family members can also file a separate lawsuit against a third party who is responsible for the accident. These cases usually involve general contractors, sub-contractors, property owners, and vendors. Damages include anything that would otherwise be allowed in a traditional civil action, including pain and suffering.
Insurance carriers who pay workers’ compensation benefits are entitled to share in the proceeds of any third-party lawsuit. It is important to have an experienced lawyer evaluate each claim to maximize both cases.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (855) 221-2667 for a free consultation today.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by danxoneil.