Those who work in construction take risks every day as part of their job. They work at great heights, which present the risk of a potential fall. They deal with large, dangerous machines and equipment. There's always the potential for mechanical issues or other accidents, as well as the presence of electricity on many job sites. All of these risk factors and more make construction work one of the most dangerous jobs.
Most people understand that workers' compensation offers coverage to workers who suffer injuries on the job. Fewer people realize that surviving family members may receive benefits after a loved one dies as the result of a work injury.
For some families, those benefits make all the difference in the difficult times after losing a loved one. Understanding this coverage can give construction workers and their families better peace of mind about working in this dangerous field.
Workers' compensation protects surviving family members
There are many issues that a family must face when someone dies unexpectedly in a work accident. There will be grief, as well as arranging the funeral. Familial responsibilities will likely need to shift for everyone to make up for the support from the deceased worker. Income may also be an issue, especially if the deceased family member was the primary wage earner for the family.
Even paying basic expenses with only one income could become nearly impossible for a family after a sudden loss. Workers' compensation exists to ensure that those who work for a living don't suffer financially due to injuries from their employment. That coverage extends to family members who depend on the worker. In the wake of a work accident that claims someone's life, their surviving dependents can file a claim for workers' compensation in New York.
New York workers' compensation offers a death benefit to dependent family members
Accidents on the job site can lead to the sudden death of a worker. It can also cause medical conditions that prove fatal in the future. When that happens, workers' compensation will typically cover medical costs prior to death. Certain surviving family members can also seek benefits to offset the lost wages of the deceased worker. Children, spouses, grandchildren, parents, siblings and grandparents may have the right to claim these benefits.
Typically, these benefits are two-thirds of the worker's average weekly pay, up to a maximum amount set by the state. There is also a separate benefit of up to $12,500 for funeral costs if the burial takes place in a Metropolitan New York County of $10,500 for all other counties in the state. If there are no surviving family members, workers' compensation may still pay as much as $50,000 toward the estate of the deceased worker.