Sep 25

The Unfairness of Death Benefits in Florida Work Comp

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Florida workers’ compensation benefits can be so unfair sometimes. One situation is when a worker is killed while working. Sadly, this happened last night when a worker was killed in Tampa by a large steal beam while operating a forklift, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The man, identified as Ricardo McCalop, was apparently using the forklift to lift the beam about 2 a.m. when the forklift broke, sending the beam backward toward the protective cage and crushing both the cage and McCalop.

Under Florida workers’ compensation law, this employee is limited in his rights to recovery. Under Florida Statute 440.16, actual funeral expenses not to exceed $7,500 are paid by the workers’ compensation carrier. In addition, compensation benefits not to exceed $150,000.00 are payable to the deceased employee’s spouse and/or children. What is unfair what the death benefits in a Florida workers’ compensation claim is that the family is limited to $150,000.00 whereas the bread-winner of the family could have supported his family for years and earned far more than this amount but for his death. However, what is even more unfair is that if the employee who was killed during the course of his or her employment did not have a spouse and/or children, the employee’s family (parents, brothers, sisters, etc.) is not entitled to any compensation despite the death of their loved one.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the McCalop family and all families that suffer the loss of a loved one from a work comp accident or other type of accident.


Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in Florida workers’ compensation accidents, car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. His law firm – Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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