In 2014, 71 fatal work-related accidents occurred in the state of Mississippi. Thirty of those fatal accidents were transportation-related, four were from fires or explosions, eleven were the result of a fall, slip or trip, nine were the result of exposure to a harmful or toxic substances and another nine fatalities occurred as the result of contact with an object or piece of equipment. The remaining eight work-related fatalities were tied to violence or other injuries inflicted by another person (workplace violence).
When a workplace injury results in death, the dependents of the decedent may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. Death benefits under Mississippi workers’ compensation law are subject to a maximum 450 week limitation. Workers’ compensation death benefits can be complex, however in general they fall into the following categories:
Surviving spouses and minor children under the age of 18 are presumed to be dependents of the decedent. Children will be paid workers’ compensation death benefits until they reach the age of 18 or until the age of 23 should they remain full-time students. Regardless of the age of the child, any dependent of the decedent who is incapable of self-support due to a physical or mental disability may be paid for a longer period of time—yet cannot exceed the maximum of 450 weeks. In some cases, stepchildren or children born outside the marriage may not be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits.Federal Budget Cuts Allow States to “Slide” on Injury and Death Benefits
Those receiving workers’ compensation benefits may well wonder how they will continue to live and pay bills on 2/3rds or less of their loved one’s salary. While the U.S. Labor Department kept track at one time of how many states were complying with the recommendations of the presidential commission, this stopped in 2004, due to budget cuts. Currently, only seven states now follow at least 15 of the recommendations made during the Nixon administrations while four states comply with less than half of them.
When you consider the “average” funeral in the United States costs from $7,000 to $10,000, you can see the $2,000 paid under workers’ comp doesn’t even begin to cover those costs. Families who lived paycheck to paycheck prior to the death of their loved one could find themselves living in poverty afterwards. Speaking to an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney could be a beneficial step following the death of a loved one.Contact Our Jackson Worker's Compensation Attorneys
If someone you love has died because of a work-related accident or injury, it is important to understand your legal rights. At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys fight aggressively for families whose loved ones have been tragically killed while on the job. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.