Accident-related workers’ comp benefits and wrongful death
An on-the-job accident can happen to any employee at any time. A significant number of work accidents are motor vehicle crashes, which may involve compensation recovery at different levels. For example, surviving dependents of a truck accident victim may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits along with court-ordered damages paid by at-fault parties.
Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
The Alabama Department of Labor provides guidelines for eligibility and payment of workers’ compensation death benefits. Surviving spouses and children may collect benefits, subject to minimum and maximum caps, for up to 500 weeks. The benefits are based upon the victim’s earnings at the time of death. Provisions allow dependents to receive benefits, even if a victim’s death is not immediate following an accident.
The amount of benefits available depends upon the number of dependents left behind. A single dependent is entitled to half of a deceased employee’s weekly wage. When there are additional dependents, benefits equal two-thirds of the wage the victim earned at the time of death.
Benefits also are available when an employee has no dependents. Under state workers’ compensation rules, employers are directed to make a one-time $7,500 payment to a deceased accident victim’s estate. Employers are also responsible for a payment of up to $6,500 for burial costs for employees who die in work-related accidents, regardless of expenses covered by insurance.