In the event of a compensable injury that results in the death of an employee, the employer is responsible for burial expenses (not to exceed $7,500). If the Employee has “dependents” who are completely dependent upon the employee’s wages for support at the time of the injury, those dependents are eligible for compensation. This is true whether the employee was in a high risk position or not.
For example, let’s consider the untimely death of a security guard. As you know, the hazards that face security guards are generally higher than that of an average worker. In 2007, there were 84 fatal occupational injuries reported among security guards. 51% of these deaths were due to homicides.* These types of security jobs include store and facility guards, bodyguards, bouncers, and watchguards.
If the security guard has children under the age of 18 years old or a spouse, the workers’ compensation benefits would flow to them.
If the security guard has no dependents, then the Employer must pay the State Board “one-half of the benefits which would have been payable” to the dependent or $10,000, whichever is less. See, O.C.G.A. § 34-9-358(a).
The same would apply if the worker was in a lower risk job as well such as a delivery driver, teacher, or a doctor.
The Ramos Law Firm has handled several death claims with dignity. If you have found yourself in this unfortunate situation, please call our office for a free consultation today, (404) 355-3431 or email.
* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007, there were 84 fatal occupational injuries reported among security guards. A great number of these fatalities were the result of homicide. In fact, 51% of deaths were due to homicides. This is staggering as only 11% of all other workplace deaths were homicide related. Of the 51% of the homicides committed in 2007 against security guards, 47% were committed by a customer or client of the business the guard was protecting.