Losing a loved one due to a work-related incident is an unimaginable tragedy, and during such a difficult and life-changing experience, it helps to know there is financial help through Pennsylvania workers’ compensation insurance.
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation death benefits are a form of financial assistance provided to the dependents and beneficiaries of an employee who has tragically lost their life due to a work-related incident or illness.
If you have lost a loved one in a work accident or due to an illness or disease from workplace conditions in Easton, PA, or any illness aggravated by workplace conditions, call Munely Law today.
Our Easton workers’ compensation attorneys have more than 60 years of fighting for the rights of Pennsylvania workers.
Let us help you understand what you are entitled to, navigate the workers’ compensation system, and receive your maximum allowed benefits.
Contact Munley Law 24 hours a day. Call our Lehigh Valley offices today, chat or message us for your free case evaluation.
Do all Easton, PA employers carry workers’ compensation death benefit insurance?
Yes, across Pennsylvania, nearly all employers are required by state law to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which includes coverage for death benefits. This requirement applies to almost all employers in the state, regardless of the size of the business or the number of employees.
Workers’ compensation benefits begin on the employee’s first day of work and all employees are covered by PA workers comp insurance regardless of full or part-time status.
What to Do After Losing a Loved One in a Workplace
If your loved one has died tragically as a result of a workplace accident or illness in Pennsylvania, there are many steps you should take to ensure you receive the appropriate death benefits. These include:
- Notify their employer. Inform your loved one’s employer about the workplace accident or their death as a result of their occupational illness as soon as possible and in writing. Provide them with all relevant details and documentation regarding the incident.
- Document all medical treatments and keep a record. If necessary, make sure your loved one received appropriate medical attention before their passing. Document all medical records and treatment related to the accident or illness.
- Consult with an attorney. Consider seeking legal representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney specializing in Pennsylvania law such as Munley Law workers’ compensation attorneys.
- Collect documentation. Gather all relevant documents, including your loved one’s employment records, medical records, death certificate, witness statements and any other recorded or other evidence that supports your claim for PA workers’ compensation death benefits.
- File a claim. Work with your attorney to file a formal workers’ compensation death benefits claim with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Ensure that all required forms and documentation are submitted accurately and within the specified timeframes.
- Attend hearings and meetings. Cooperate with the workers’ compensation system by attending hearings and meetings as required. These proceedings will determine the eligibility for and amount of death benefits you may receive.
- Appeal if necessary. If your claim is denied or you believe you are not receiving the appropriate death benefits, consult with your attorney about the possibility of filing an appeal to challenge the decision.
Can I Receive Workers’ Comp Death Benefits for a Loved One?
In Pennsylvania, you may be eligible to collect workplace death benefits if your loved one passed away due to a work-related illness, even if it occurred years after they initially got sick. There are some considerations and guidelines including:
- Occupational illness. To qualify for death benefits, it must be established that the work-related illness directly contributed to your loved one’s death. This may involve providing medical evidence, such as documentation from healthcare professionals, linking the illness to occupational exposures or conditions.
- Statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, there is a specific time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim for death benefits. Generally, the claim should be filed within three years from the date of death or within three years from the date the worker knew or should have known that their illness was work-related.
- Proof of employment and exposure. You will need to provide evidence of your loved one’s employment and the conditions or exposures in the workplace that likely caused or contributed to their illness. Employment records, witness statements, and expert testimony may be required to support your claim.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Munely Law can help you understand your rights, walk you through the process, file your paperwork, collect evidence and witnesses and more.
If your loved one died months or years after contracting an illness while at work in Easton, call or message Munely Law today for your free case evaluation.
Who is Eligible to Receive Workers’ Comp Death Benefits?
Spouse. The surviving spouse of the deceased worker is typically eligible for death benefits. This includes both legally married spouses and common-law spouses recognized under Pennsylvania law.
Dependent children. Children under the age of 18, or up to the age of 23 if enrolled in an accredited educational institution, are considered dependents and may be entitled to death benefits. This includes biological children, adopted children, and stepchildren of the deceased worker.
Dependent parents. If the deceased worker provided financial support to their dependent parents at the time of their death, the parents may be eligible for death benefits.
Dependent siblings. In certain cases, dependent siblings of the deceased worker may qualify for death benefits if they relied on the deceased worker for financial support at the time of their passing.
What Coverage Does Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Provide?
In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation death benefits provide financial benefits to the dependents and beneficiaries of a deceased worker. These benefits cover various aspects related to the loss of a loved one and typically include:
- Funeral and burial expenses. Workers’ compensation death benefits often cover reasonable funeral and burial expenses. This includes costs such as the funeral or cremation service, casket or urn, burial plot, transportation, and other associated fees.
- Lost wages compensation for dependents. The death benefits provide financial compensation to the dependents of the deceased worker. This compensation aims to replace a portion of the lost income that the deceased worker would have provided to their dependents. The amount of compensation is determined based on factors such as the number of dependents and their relationship to the deceased worker.
- Dependents benefits. If the deceased worker had dependent children, the death benefits may include ongoing support for those children until they reach a certain age or complete their education. The amount and duration of these dependency benefits vary based on factors such as the number of children and their age.
- Medical expenses. In cases where the deceased worker incurred medical expenses related to the work-related injury or illness before their passing, workers’ compensation death benefits may cover those medical expenses.
It is important to note that the specific coverage and amounts of workers’ compensation death benefits can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Consulting with a knowledgeable PA workers’ compensation attorney at Munley Law can help you understand the benefits available to you and ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to under Pennsylvania law.
What Are the Most Common Deadly Workplace Accidents in Easton?
Easton is a busy economic hub and home to every industrial sector you can imagine. Construction, mining, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, healthcare, retail, service and hospitality … Easton PA has an incredibly diverse workforce. Workplace accidents and sickness that lead to death can happen in ANY job in ANY workplace sector. Some of the most common deadly workplace incidents include:
Falls from heights. Falls from ladders, scaffolding, roofs, or elevated platforms are a common cause of fatal workplace accidents. These incidents often occur in industries such as construction, maintenance, and manufacturing.
Struck by objects. Being struck by falling objects, machinery, vehicles, or equipment can result in severe injuries and fatalities. This can happen in construction sites, warehouses, or manufacturing facilities.
Electrocutions. Workers who come into contact with exposed wiring, faulty electrical equipment, or work near power lines are at risk of electrocution. Electricians, construction workers, and utility workers are particularly susceptible to this type of accident.
Transportation accidents. Motor vehicle accidents, including collisions involving trucks, cars, forklifts, or other vehicles, can occur on highways, construction sites, or any workplace that involves the operation of vehicles.
Machinery and equipment accidents. Operating heavy machinery and equipment carries inherent risks. Entrapment, caught-in-between accidents, or being crushed by moving parts can lead to fatal injuries.
Exposure to hazardous substances. Workers in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and agriculture may be exposed to harmful substances or toxic chemicals. Prolonged exposure or improper handling of these substances can result in fatal consequences such as fatal respiratory diseases.
Fires and explosions. Workplaces with flammable materials, such as chemical plants or food factories are at risk of fires and explosions that can cause severe injuries and fatalities.
If you have recently lost a loved one to any workplace accident or occupational disease in Easton, call the Pennsylvania workplace attorneys at Munley Law today. You can call, chat or message us 24 hours a day.
We have been working for workers and their families for more than 60 years. We have the experience, the proven record, and the drive to help you receive every dollar you are entitled to.