Death Benefits under Workers’ Compensation

Aug 21, 2014 | WC & Other Laws

It is not farfetched to think that the construction industry may very well be one of the most hazardous industries out there. Construction workers are confronted with unstable and incomplete infrastructure above their heads on a daily basis. In fact, we have recently been reminded of the many dangers construction workers face daily by a recent unfortunate incident in Temple University in Philadelphia. Last 11th of July, part of a building under construction collapsed, injuring a construction worker.

It could have been worse.  When workers die on the job, things get tricky.

At a minimum the families of injured workers get a funeral benefit – currently at $7,000.00.  Beyond that – there is no benefit unless the deceased worker leaves dependents.  This means that a teenaged worker such as Cody Rigsby dies on the job, his family only gets $7,000.00.  By law they cannot sue the employer.  Although the family can find some solace in the fact that OSHA fined the employer $1.6 million – that money is paid to federal government.

Spouses are presumed by the law to be a dependent.  The widow(er) receives two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage until he or she dies, or remarries.  Children are obvious dependents as well until they reach the age of nineteen, or until twenty-one if they are enrolled in higher education or technical school after high school.


The children’s interest may not always be in lock-step with the widow’s interest particularly if the injured worker has re-married.  Therefore we strongly recommend that the dependent children of re-married deceased workers obtain their own legal counsel.


What we have disclosed here are merely broad strokes pertaining to workers’ compensation laws.  Kaplan Morrell attorneys have been helping workers all over Colorado with their workers compensation claims since 1997. We will be able to help find who is responsible for the injury and get you the benefits you deserve. Contact us at 303-780-7329 for your FREE CONSULTATION.