Workplace fatalities happen. In the past 5 years, there have been 86 fatal accidents that occurred in the Tampa Bay area or involved a Tampa Bay-area employer. Unfortunately, Florida workers’ compensation law is inadequate to compensate the surviving family when a death occurs on the job.
If death results from a work comp accident within one year thereafter or follows continuous disability and resulted from the work-related accident within five years thereafter, the workers’ compensation carrier is required to pay death benefits. These workers compensation benefits include actual funeral expenses not to exceed $7,500.00. Further, the employer/insurance carrier shall pay the deceased employee’s dependents up to two-third of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage depending on the type of dependent (spouse, child, parent, etc.). In addition, the carrier would be responsible for payment of school of the surviving spouse. However, the maximum the workers’ compensation carrier is required to pay to the family for the death of an employee is $150,000.00.
So, where have these work-related death occurred? ABC Action News has formulated a database of these fatal accidents using the information from OSHA. Click here to search the name of the employer or information on all the fatal work comp deaths in a given city.
Be safe on the job, but be educated about the law after a workers’ compensation injury. For free information about your rights and benefits after a Florida workers’ compensation accident, click here and email Attorney Matthew Noyes to request his workers’ compensation packet.