When Ohio workers suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, their on-the-job injuries can affect those who count on them. Families feel both the heartache of seeing their loved one suffer and the financial stress and upheaval of lost wages and medical expenses. In these situations, workers’ compensation benefits may be able to ease your family’s burden in a difficult time. But what happens when the injured or ill worker dies as the result of his or her work-related injury?
If your loved one sustained a life-ending injury or illness related to their employment, Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA’s workers’ compensation benefits lawyers are available now to help you and your family in your time of need. Under Ohio workers’ compensation laws, families may be eligible to receive benefits following the lost of an injured worker’s life.
Call or email now to schedule a free consultation regarding your death claim and find out how we can fight for your family. Or, to learn more about death claims in the Ohio workers’ compensation benefits system, read on below.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits: What They Do
In broad terms, workers’ compensation benefits are available to provide covered Ohio workers financial assistance following a work-related accident, injury, or illness. When appropriate, the benefits cover necessary medical care and expenses, as well as a portion of wages lost as the result of the injury or illness.
As a practical matter, most workers are working to support not only themselves but also their families or dependents. So, when a work-related death occurs, for many families the need for the employee’s compensation benefits remains.
What is a Death Claim?
Ohio law allows the dependents of an injured worker who died as a result of a work-related injury or illness to file a claim for benefits. This is commonly referred to as a death claim.
When Can a Death Claim be Filed
A dependent’s right to file a workers’ compensation death claim arises at the time of the worker’s death, and not until then.
Benefits may be available when an injury instantaneously results in death, or when death does not result instantaneously but is caused by the injury or illness. Because the death need not be instantaneous, dependents may file a death claim a significant length of time following the date of injury. Importantly, death claims are subject to a statute of limitations and must be filed with 2 years of the date of death.
In some cases where death does not result instantaneously, the injured employee may even file and settle a workers’ compensation claim him- or herself. This does not preclude the worker’s dependent from filing a claim after his or her death.
Because the law is complicated, it is recommended that any family members and dependents consult an experienced attorney before filing a death claim.
What Benefits are Available?
According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, “Dependent death benefits will be based on the level of dependency or support each dependent had while the worker was living.” Benefit can include payments for lost wages and funeral expenses, and may continue for varying lengths of time. For example, in some instances a spouse may receive benefits until their own death or remarriage.
Establishing level of dependency, proving that a death was caused by a workplace injury or illness, and expediently filing a claim for death claim compensation benefits requires significant time, resources, and legal insight. Remember: if you need help, you are not alone.
Contact an Ohio Workers’ Compensation Benefits Attorney Now
If you and your family do not know where to turn following a workplace accident, injury, or death, Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA’s attorneys are here to listen. Call or email now and let us help you get the benefits you deserve.