Workers’ compensation benefits cover the damages caused by occupational injuries, which may include medical bills and lost wages. Although workers’ compensation does help with these costs, work accidents can affect more than the injured employee. The families of injured workers often sustain substantial damages as well — are the dependents of an employee entitled to workers’ compensation benefits?
Work Injury Damages
In a workers’ compensation case, medical bills will account for the majority of damages. Medical bills are highly expensive, and the responsibility of paying for medical bills sometimes falls on the employee’s family. By recovering workers’ compensation benefits, some of the damages sustained by the injury victim’s dependents will be alleviated. There are additional damages that impact the victim’s family only, and some of them are non-economic.
An injured employee’s family members could suffer from damages such as:
- Lack of income
- Relationship strain
- Time off work to care for the injury victim
When Would a Family Member Be Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation can help a family cover the costs of an injury, but it is rare for an employee’s dependents to receive benefits directly. Workers’ compensation does not, unfortunately, account for any of the non-economic damages that result from an on-the-job injury. Although family members usually cannot directly recover benefits, the coverage provided by a workers’ compensation claim should be able to account for the employee’s lapse in income, thus covering their dependent’s financial damages. In most cases, the only time an employee’s family member can directly receive workers’ compensation benefits is if the work accident caused death.
An employee’s dependents could recover benefits following a work accident if the accident was fatal. Death benefits provide resources to the people who have been impacted most by the employee’s death, and the resulting absence of economic support. In some cases, (especially in cases of significant employer negligence) it may be possible for a family to file a wrongful death claim as well.
The Alvandi Law Group, P.C. legal team represents people who have been injured at their job. Contact us if you are curious about your right to recover benefits or are involved in a workers’ compensation claim and need top-tier representation.
If you are interested in discussing your workers’ compensation case with our attorneys, schedule a free consultation using our contact form or via phone at (800) 980-6905.