Workers’ comp lawyer discusses survivor’s benefits and what should be paid to family members after a deadly accident on-the-job in Michigan.
Fatal accidents at work in Michigan are some of the most difficult cases that we see in our law practice. The loss of a family member is devastating, and no amount of money can ever replace them. Michigan law is designed to help ease the burden on families through payment of survivor’s benefits. Here is some information about workers’ comp that everyone should know.
Children, spouses, and other family members could be entitled to survivor’s benefits after certain deadly on-the-job accidents. The amount paid is based upon what the deceased employee was earning before his or her death. It is an average of the highest 39 paid weeks during the final 52 weeks of employment. Payments continue for a maximum of 500 weeks. There is also a $6,000 burial expense. All medical bills should also be covered 100% without any copayments or deductibles being owed.
Fatal accidents at work in Michigan can also result in a lawsuit for wrongful death. This would be separate from workers’ comp benefits, and it must be against a negligent third-party. Employers and coworkers are generally immune if they have workers’ comp insurance. We recommend speaking with an experienced attorney because these situations can be complicated.
Survivor benefits for husbands or wives after a fatal accident at work
A spouse, either husband or wife, must prove factual dependency to get survivor’s benefits. Spouses can be found “totally” or “partially” dependent based upon how much money was contributed to them for support. Spouses who are found to be totally dependent will receive 500 weeks of wage loss benefits. Spouses who are found to be only partially dependent will receive a reduced amount based upon family contribution.
Survivor’s benefits are not paid to individuals who receive more than half of their support from another source. This issue comes up frequently when a spouse has his or her own job. We recommend speaking with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer should this occur.
Workers’ comp benefits for children under the age of 16
Children who are under the age of 16 and who lost a parent or guardian to a fatal accident at work in Michigan are presumed to be wholly dependent and automatically entitled to 500 weeks of lost wages. It is possible to seek additional weeks until the child reaches age 21 if he or she is disabled. Multiple children who are found to be dependent must share equally in what is paid.
Children over age 16 will need to prove factually dependency based upon support given by the parent while he or she was alive. Adult children can also seek survivor’s benefits if they are incapacitated or otherwise dependent upon their parent.
Adopted children are treated the same as biological children. Stepchildren must show factual dependency to qualify for survivor’s benefits. Illegitimate children may be entitled to survivor’s benefits under specific circumstances. Even children who are in the womb can be entitled to weekly checks.
Workers’ comp benefits for other family members after a fatal accident at work
The same dependency rules for spouses will apply to other family members. Factual dependency must be shown to receive survivor’s benefits after fatal accidents at work in Michigan. A member of the family includes lineal descendants, ancestors, and brothers or sisters.
Have you lost a loved one to a fatal accident at work? Call our Michigan workers’ comp lawyers for a free consultation
If you lost a loved one due to a fatal accident at work in Michigan, call us now to speak with an experienced attorney about your workers’ comp claim, 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 and can help you better understand Michigan workers’ comp laws and explain what happens if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed 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.