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Your rights to death benefits after a fatal construction accident

Living with a loved one who works in construction is nerve-wracking. Every day that they go to work, you don't know if they will end up hurt as a result of performing their job. It seems like just about every month, a New York construction site makes the news for some kind of catastrophe.

Whether it's dropping huge plates of glass onto vehicles or elevator issues that crush workers, tragedy can strike without warning at a construction site. This can leave your family struggling with the sudden loss of a loved one.

Not only will you have to handle the grief of a death in the family, you will also have to worry about losing the income of the person who was probably the primary wage-earner in your family. It is important that you familiarize yourself with your rights under the New York workers' compensation insurance program.

Surviving family members can receive death benefits

There are many available benefits under New York workers' compensation, but most people associate the program with medical coverage. In other words, workers' compensation will pay for the costs of medical care that relate to a work injury. There are additional benefits that can help your family during this tragic time.

Workers' compensation won't just cover medical costs that your loved one incurred prior to the death. It will also offer some benefits to your family after the death. Spouses, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings may be eligible for benefits under New York workers' compensation. In the event that none of these parties file a claim, the estate of the deceased may also seek benefits.

There are many different kinds of benefits, including funeral expense benefits and ongoing death benefits paid to the family. Funeral benefits will depend on the exact location of the worker's job site. Certain counties will pay out $12,500 for funeral expenses. These include Bronx, King, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Rockland, Westchester and Suffolk counties. Workers who were on site in any other county likely qualify for a funeral expense benefit of $10,500.

Death benefits can replace a portion of the income you lose after the accident

Under New York law, workers' compensation will pay up to two-thirds of the income of the deceased. The way those benefits get split up will depend on how many dependents are filing a claim. The state tends to split the benefits between beneficiaries. In the event that the estate makes the claim because there are no dependent family members, the death benefit will be a $50,000 payout.

While this income may be less than what your loved one earned, it can help support your family as you adjust to life after your loss. Filing a claim for benefits in a timely manner is important for the successful resolution of your case.

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