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Death Claims in Ohio Workers’ Compensation

Grieving spouse consulting lawyer for death claims.

If your family member was killed in a workplace accident or died from a workplace condition, certain surviving family members might be entitled to death benefits. The Ohio workers’ compensation system pays death benefits to eligible surviving dependents. The Bureau of Workers’ compensation pays the death benefits every two weeks. The total benefits amount to two-thirds of the deceased workers’ wages up to a maximum cap. Funeral benefits are also available.

In order to receive Ohio workers’ compensation death benefits, you will need to pursue a claim within strict deadlines. It is in your best interest to contact our office as soon as possible, so we can start fighting for the compensation you deserve before time runs out.

At Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, our Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping people attain the financial security they deserve. We have more than 200 years of combined experience advocating on behalf of injured workers and their families. We are eager to put this experience to work for you.

Contact us today to speak with a compassionate Ohio death benefits attorney.

Is Death Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?

The short answer is “yes.” Workers’ compensation applies to workers injured on the job, even if those injuries result in death. Survivors may file a workers’ compensation claim whether the accident in question resulted in the immediate death of the worker or a period of time elapsed between the injury and the decedent’s death.

Death Benefits for Surviving Dependents

It can be very difficult to get by in today’s economy without two sources of income. Should one of the sources of income end because an earner dies in either a workplace accident or from an occupational disease, Ohio has specific laws that provide for the continuing financial support of surviving dependents.

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) pays ongoing death benefits to surviving dependents, specifically the worker’s spouse and any children under 18. A child of the deceased aged 18 to 25 may also receive benefits if he or she is a full-time student enrolled at an accredited school, college, or university. Adult children who are mentally or physically incapacitated also qualify as dependents.

The BWC pays death benefits every two weeks. The total is divided among the dependents. The spouse is entitled to lifetime compensation unless he or she remarries. Children’s benefits will end at their 18th birthday, upon the termination of their higher education or their 25th birthday, or if they recover from their physical or mental incapacity.

If the spouse remarries, they will receive a final lump-sum payment. This lump sum is the amount the spouse would have received over the next two years. No other compensation or benefits will be sent to the spouse once the lump sum has been paid.

What Happens to Your Workers’ Comp Case If You Die?

If a worker’s injuries result in death, either at the time of the accident or a later date, the compensation that would have gone to the deceased will instead go to their estate. If the claims are still pending at the time of death, the estate can move forward with the claim. Should the injury have resulted in immediate death, the deceased’s estate can still file a claim under workers’ compensation laws.

Sometimes an individual entitled to workers’ compensation will die from something unrelated to the injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. In such instances, the estate can still pursue a workers’ compensation claim.

Should a person already receive benefits from workers’ compensation at the time of their death, the system will pay that person’s remaining accrued benefits to their dependents.

What Type of Damages Are Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

While workers’ compensation will cover most work-related injuries or illnesses, some are excluded. Workers’ compensation laws restrict claims specifically to people who are injured at work. The rules governing workers’ compensation generally do not apply to accidents and illnesses with no connection to work.

Even when workers’ compensation does cover an injury or death, some types of damages still may be unavailable. Unlike damages in regular personal injury claims, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover losses like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or full coverage of lost income. If a non-employer third party was responsible for a workplace accident or death, it might be possible to pursue a personal injury claim to seek additional damages that workers’ compensation will not pay.

An experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney at Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA can review your situation and explore all potential sources of recovery, including third-party personal injury or wrongful death claims.

Get Help from Our Ohio Workers’ Comp Death Benefits Lawyers

Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., LPA, was founded more than 35 years ago. Our legal team has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation claims, including workplace death claims. We know how the process works. We also know many of the people who will be involved in this claim — the businesses, the other attorneys, the medical personnel, and more. We are ready to answer all of your questions and give you the peace of mind that comes with compassionate legal representation.

We understand the grief you feel after losing a loved one in a work-related accident because we’ve helped countless people who have suffered similar tragedies get the justice and compensation they deserve. Contact us by phone or online to speak with a compassionate Ohio workers’ comp death benefits lawyer today.