Every year, thousands of Americans die from work-related accidents in the course of performing their routine duties. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 193 people suffered fatal occupational injuries in Georgia, in 2007. Men accounted for one hundred and seventy-seven victims.
Ninety people were involved in transportation-related accidents, followed by contact
with objects and equipment – 31, falls – 22, harmful chemicals/environment – 16, and fire/ explosions – 8. Workplace violence and assaults accounted for 25 fatal occupational injuries among GA workers. Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to provide benefits to the surviving spouse and children.
Protect Your Family’s Interest
No sum of money can truly compensate a family for the loss of a loved one. Any fatal occupational injury, whether it is a construction mishap, industrial accident or vehicle crash, taxes the family emotionally, and causes tremendous mental and financial challenges.
The complexity of fatal occupational injury cases requires the family who depended on the person for support, to protect its financial interest by hiring experienced legal counsel. Your attorney should move quickly to secure the evidence and keep it from disappearing.
The law office of Eric J. Hertz, P.C., represents clients across Georgia, including Atlanta and Johns Creek. Call for a free initial consultation. We will clarify your rights under the circumstances, and protect those rights from insurance company lawyers who seek to minimize damages for their client.
Receiving Fair Compensation
The law presumes the spouses and children of victims of occupational fatalities are entitled to survivor benefits. Any other dependents must prove their case.
Georgia’s workers’ compensation survivors’ benefit pays two thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident. The maximum amount is $500 per week. It also pays for funeral expenses up to $7,500.
The widow of a deceased spouse, who does not have children, can receive a total of $150,000, in weekly benefits. The child of a deceased employee receives weekly payments up to the age of 18.
Compensation for Wrongful Death
Often, the worker’s death is due to a third party – individual or company. If a third party is responsible for causing the injury, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death case and seek damages for medical costs, funeral/burial expenses, and pain-and-suffering. The court does not award damages for pain and suffering if the victim had an instantaneous death.
However, if a significant amount of time passes between the injury and the resulting death, the court tends to make awards that are more generous. The family may also receive compensation for the value of the “loss of life.” This consists of future earnings and the intangible value of the deceased’s life.
At Eric J. Hertz, P.C., we have the knowledge and skills to manage the most difficult occupational fatality or wrongful death cases. Speak to one of our attorneys who have the experience to pursue all the available options, which assure that you, and other dependents of the deceased, receive fair benefits.