Michigan workers’ comp lawyer discusses survivors benefits when a family member is killed on-the-job.
Michigan workers’ comp wrongful death claims are some of the hardest lawsuits that we handle. No amount of money can ever replace a beloved family member and emotions run deep. Workman’s comp is designed to help ease the burden on families, but it has major limitations. For example, there is no pain and suffering allowed. Here is what family members should know about survivors benefits.
In Michigan, these claims are paid to eligible dependents when a family member dies in a workplace accident. Spouses must prove factual dependency to qualify. Factors such as income from another source and payment of living expenses will be examined. Children under the age of 16 are presumed to be dependent. Other potential dependents include mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, or uncles.
Family members can get up to 500 weeks of Michigan workers’ comp lost wages for a wrongful death claim. The amount paid will be based upon the employee’s after-tax average weekly wage, subject to a state-wide maximum. It is an average of the highest 39 paid weeks during the final 52 weeks before the accident occurred. This calculation should include money for overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second job.
Payments continue for a maximum of 500 weeks but can be extended for children under the age of 16 who can show special need. There is also a $6,000 burial expense that should be paid. All medical bills should be covered 100% without any copayments or deductibles owed by the family.
What are workers’ comp wrongful death benefits in Michigan?
In Michigan, workers’ comp wrongful death benefits are called survivors benefits. Payment of these benefits to family members should equal a minimum of 500 weeks of lost wages. There is also a $6,000 burial expense. Fault does not matter provided the death occurred in the course and scope of employment.
Children under the age of 16 are presumed wholly dependent and automatically entitled to lost wages. It is possible to seek additional lost wages until the child reaches age 21 under special circumstances.
A spouse must prove factual dependency to receive 500 weeks of lost wages. A husband or wife can be found “totally” or “partially” dependent. If only partially dependent, the comp rate will be reduced based upon his or her household contribution. If it is determined that a spouse received less than half support from the deceased employee, lost wages are often disputed.
Family members who are entitled to Michigan workers’ comp wrongful death benefits and who are totally dependent must share equally. Family members who are all partially dependent share in proportion to their relative dependency. The minimum death benefit is equal to 50% of the state average weekly wage in the year of injury.
How much does a lawyer charge for a workers’ comp wrongful death claim in Michigan?
In Michigan, most attorneys give free consultations. Make sure the insurance company is paying correctly. It can be devastating to learn that benefits won’t be paid because no family member is considered an eligible dependent. Attorney fees are only paid if a person wins, and most people pay a maximum of between 15% and 20%.
Have you lost a loved one to due to a workplace accident and need help with your claim? Contact us today
If you you lost a loved one due to a workplace accident in Michigan and need help with your Michigan workers’ comp wrongful death claim, call now speak with an experienced attorney, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years. Our attorneys can help you better understand Michigan workman’s comp laws and what happens after someone has been hurt on the job. To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
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 (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.