The workers’ compensation system in Kentucky was designed to compensate people injured on the job for their medical bills and lost wages. However, what happens if a worker dies as a result of their work injury? Our Louisville workers’ compensation attorneys explain how workers’ compensation benefits are awarded in the tragic event of a wrongful death.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
The death of a loved one due to a work-related accident can be a traumatic and devastating event. Though there is no amount of compensation that can make up for the loss of a close family member or friend, Kentucky’s workers’ compensation system is designed to recompense a deceased worker’s family in the event of an untimely death.
The benefits that may be awarded to surviving family members include:
- Income benefits
- A lump sum payment
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Social Security benefits
The type and amount of compensation will vary case by case and is largely dependent on the deceased employee’s pre-injury earnings, the number of dependents they left behind, and other factors. An attorney can help you determine exactly what benefits you and are family are eligible for and ensure you receive the maximum sum you are entitled to.
Who Can File a Workers’ Comp Claim for Wrongful Death?
In Kentucky, only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of a lost loved one. According to state law, “Income benefits are payable under KRS 342.730 to the surviving spouse and dependents of an injured worker who dies before the end of [their] award.”
This means that the following people are able to receive benefits following a work-related death:
- The victim’s surviving spouse
- Dependents under 18 who live with the victim’s spouse
- Dependents under 22 who are attending an accredited educational institution
- Dependents over 18 years of age who are incapable of supporting themselves
- And, in some cases, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren of the deceased
For more information on how to file a workers’ comp claim for wrongful death, visit the Claims Process page on the Commonwealth of Kentucky Labor Cabinet website, or contact an experienced workers’ compensation in Kentucky.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our Louisville workers’ compensation attorneys at Walker Wallace PLC, reach out to us here. We offer compassionate and comprehensive representation to those who have lost a loved one.