Compensation for a Wrongful Death at Work

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102 workers in South Carolina suffered fatal injuries in 2020. For the families left behind, the loss is immense. (BLS, Fatal Occupational Injuries in South Carolina).

We want you to know that you may receive compensation for a wrongful death at work. Dependents may claim a range of benefits, including lost income, funeral expenses, and reimbursement for medical expenses before death. You may be able to bring a third-party personal injury claim.

Getting Compensation for a Wrongful Death at Work

Compensation for a wrongful death at work is available in most cases. Compensation may come in two ways – a wrongful death claim or a workers’ compensation claim.

Workers’ compensation benefits for a death on the job

Any employer with four or more employees, even part-time, must carry workers’ compensation insurance. In most circumstances where a death occurs on the job, the employer will have workers’ compensation insurance. Benefits are available in the event of death.

When the case falls under workers’ compensation, benefits are payable even if the accident was not the fault of the employer. Negligence is not required. The beneficiaries may claim payment without proving that the employer is responsible for the accident.

Wrongful Death Legal Claim for a Death on the Job

If someone is legally responsible for causing the death, other than the employer, the surviving family may have a wrongful death claim. Negligence, reckless conduct, and intentional harm can all be grounds for legal liability. This type of claim can’t be brought against the employer. But it can be brought against another person or party, even if the accident happened while the victim was on the job. An example would be driving for work, and someone else causes a car accident.

A claim based on third-party wrongful death can ask for damages that aren’t available in wrongful death claims. Lost income can be claimed without an arbitrary cap (500 weeks in workers’ compensation). Pain and suffering and loss of companionship can also be included in a wrongful death claim.

If you qualify for a third-party claim, it may be advantageous to file it. However, it’s important to understand the details of your specific situation. Bobby Jones can offer you a consultation that is specific to your case.

Can I get workers’ compensation for a death at work in South Carolina?

You can get workers’ compensation for a wrongful death at work in South Carolina if you are a dependent of the victim.

A dependent is:

  • Their child under 18
  • A child ages 19-23 who is a full-time student
  • An older child who is incapable of supporting themselves
  • Surviving spouse

Benefits are first paid to these wholly dependent survivors. When there are multiple wholly dependent survivors, they split the benefits, with the spouse receiving half. If there are no wholly dependent survivors, partially dependent survivors can claim benefits.

How do I get workers’ compensation for a death at work?

If you are the dependent of someone who dies at work, notify the employer of the death immediately. Then, file Form 52 with the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission to get workers’ compensation death benefits. (South Carolina 67-301).

You have the right to a hearing if the insurance company doesn’t pay you what you deserve. You may have an attorney represent you throughout the process.

What benefits can I receive through workers’ compensation for a death at work?

Benefits payable through workers’ compensation for a death at work are:

  • 2/3 of the person’s average weekly wages for a total of 500 weeks
  • Not less than $75 minimum per week, or the person’s average weekly wage, whichever is more
  • Burial expenses up to $12,000
  • Medical expenses incurred prior to death

There are a few things that may disqualify you from receiving compensation. If the person was intoxicated or purposefully harmed themselves, you may not receive benefits. The employer has the burden of proof to prove a disqualifying circumstance.

Receiving Compensation for a Death at Work

If you have lost a loved one in a death on the job, we want you to have the representation you deserve. Any situation involving death in the workplace is complex. You need to know whether you can claim under workers’ compensation, wrongful death, or both. You need to understand how the claims are different and what to consider.

Meet with our law firm for a consultation about your case. Bobby Jones is an experienced and understanding lawyer willing to learn about your case and explain your options. We will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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