Answers To Common Questions About Maryland Workers’ Comp Death Benefits
Fatal workplace accidents are the most extreme tragedy that could impact Maryland employees, and these incidents are thankfully quite rare. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals there are around 80 fatal occupational injuries reported in Maryland annually, from such incidents as transportation accidents, falls, fires, explosions, and many others. Though they may be infrequent, deadly workplace accidents affect entire families who suffer loss because of the void left behind by their loved one’s passing.
You are probably aware that state workers’ compensation laws apply when a covered employee is injured at work, but there are also benefits for surviving family members after a fatal workplace accident. Though it may not bring your loved one back, taking legal action can provide critical financial support during difficult times. A Maryland workers’ compensation benefits lawyer can provide details based upon your unique situation, but some answers to FAQs about death benefits may be useful.
Who qualifies for death benefits under state workers’ comp laws? Initially, you should keep in mind that survivors can only obtain benefits if the deceased worker would have been eligible. Employees are covered by workers’ comp laws when they are hurt in an accident that arises out of employment and in the course of performing job-related tasks. When the worker is covered, the following individuals may seek death benefits:
- Surviving spouse;
- Surviving minor children; and/or,
- Other surviving dependents, if there is no spouse or children.
Are death benefits available for fatal occupational diseases? Yes, it is possible to seek workers’ comp benefits when an employee suffers from a medical condition that causes death. You must be able to show that the occupational disease was the result of workplace conditions, and the employee died because of the ailment. These claims are often based upon exposure to harmful substances, such as asbestos or toxic gasses.
What are the key deadlines to note about Maryland workers’ comp claims? The time restrictions on death benefit claims include:
- You have 30 days after a fatal accident to notify the deceased workers’ employer about his or her death. In writing
- For a fatality resulting from an accident, the deadline for filing the Employee Claim Form C-1 with the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission is 18 months after the date of death.
- When an employee dies because of an occupational disease, surviving family members have two years to file the Form C-1.
What benefits can qualifying survivors receive? You can obtain funeral expenses and costs for the decedent’s medical treatment before death. However, other death benefits are based upon the employee’s average working wage, so the exact amount varies.
Our Maryland Workers’ Comp Benefits Attorneys Can Answer Additional FAQs
If someone close to you died in a workplace accident, time is of the essence to seek the death benefits your family deserves under Maryland workers’ comp laws. To learn more, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can set up a no-cost consultation to review your circumstances and answer additional questions about your rights.