Workers’ Compensation and Death Benefits in Florida
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Workers’ Compensation insurance covers damages to employees injured on the job, as well as benefits to family members of an employee that died from injuries sustained in a workplace accident in Florida.
Workers’ Compensation death benefits are paid to eligible family members that bring a claim within one to five years after an employee’s death due to a workplace accident, depending on the case. Florida imposes limits on death benefits from Workers’ Compensation. Family members can only recover up to $7,500 in funeral expenses and $150,000 in lost wages. In order to ensure the validity of a Workers’ Compensation death benefits claim, your carrier will conduct investigations and assess medical records. Your carrier will calculate death benefits, which will likely vary on a case-by-case basis.
Call the Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers at (866) 340-9120 to get coverage today.
When Are Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Paid in Florida?
After extreme cases, a workplace accident might cause an employee’s death. Should their death be immediate, Workers’ Compensation death benefits may be paid out to the employee’s eligible family members right away. In other cases, employers in Florida might be faced with claims years after a workplace accident if an employee has recently succumbed to their injuries. Depending on the situation, a deceased employee’s family can bring a claim for death benefits one to five years after a workplace accident in Florida.
One Year After a Workplace Accident
When a workplace accident causes an employee’s death in Florida, certain family members may be able to file a claim for death benefits from their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier. Serious workplace accidents, like explosions, falls from great heights, equipment malfunctions, or other incidents, might immediately result in a worker’s death. Our Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can help you understand how to handle claims filed by a deceased worker’s family members brought within one year of death. If family members do not bring a claim by that time and their loved one died from injuries right away, they cannot recover death benefits.
Five Years After a Workplace Accident
In some cases, injured employees might succumb to their injuries and die from complications c years after an initial incident. In these situations, Fla. Stat. § 440.16(1) allows eligible family members and dependents to file a claim for death benefits within five years. Employees who die because of their injuries years after a workplace accident may have already been receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. The death benefits paid to family members will differ from the Workers’ Compensation benefits a deceased worker received before their death. Even if it has been years since an employee accident in Florida, family members can still bring a claim in many cases. As long as you have Workers’ Compensation that provides death benefits, a deceased employee’s family members cannot file a wrongful death suit against your company in Florida.
Limits on Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in Florida
Death benefits paid to a deceased employee’s family members from an employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier have limits in Florida. Workers’ Compensation death benefits typically cover a portion of funeral expenses as well as lost wages.
According to Fla. Stat. § 440.16(1)(a), within seven days of receiving a bill for a deceased employee’s funeral expenses, your Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier must cover up to $7,500 of the cost. Additional funeral or burial expenses will not be covered by an employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance in Florida.
Eligible family members may be able to receive damages for a deceased worker’s lost wages as well. Benefits for lost wages cannot exceed $150,000 and may equate to two-thirds of a worker’s average weekly wages.
Damages for lost wages are divided among survivors, meaning a deceased worker’s spouse and children might be entitled to different amounts. Your Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier can handle calculating death benefits and sending the necessary amounts to a deceased employee’s surviving family members so that you do not have to.
Processing Workers’ Compensation Death Claims in Florida
Workers’ Compensation claims for death benefits are understandably difficult to navigate for employers in Florida. Not only have you lost an integral part of your workforce and community, but a family is also grieving. Your Workers’ Compensation carrier will proceed as it normally would when processing a claim, meaning an investigation will be carried out into the circumstances of an employee’s death and medical records will be assessed to determine the cause.
When a worker dies immediately as a result of a workplace accident in Florida, your carrier will thoroughly investigate the event. It is important to confirm that a worker actually died while acting in the scope of their employment and not for any other reason. If an employee dies years after a workplace accident, your carrier will investigate as thoroughly as possible.
Review of Medical Records
The validity of death benefit claims is under the highest scrutiny when employees die several years after sustaining injuries in a workplace accident in Florida. To conclude that a deceased employee’s family is eligible for death benefits from your Workers’ Compensation carrier, your insurer will review their medical records from approved doctors. It could be that an employee’s death was entirely unrelated to injuries they sustained while working for you in the past, meaning a death benefits claim is invalid.
Calculation of Damages
The final stage in processing Workers’ Compensation death claims in Florida is determining the damages available to a family. While Florida establishes limitations regarding the maximum amount eligible family members can receive, it does not require carriers to pay the full amount in all circumstances. Based on a deceased worker’s average weekly wage, your carrier will calculate the proper damages family members can receive if they are eligible to get death benefits.
Get Workers’ Comp Insurance from Our Florida Brokers Today
Call (866) 340-9120 to speak with the Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers about finding an insurance policy for your company.