The crash of a baggage cart with an airport passenger shuttle/mobile lounge took the life of a Southwest Airlines employee. The worker was flown to the nearest hospital for treatment, but did not survive the injuries.
Although the fatal workplace accident happened outside Colorado, unfortunately employees in Denver and beyond are not 100 percent safe from a life-threatening injury on the job. Colorado workers’ compensation not only provides medical and lost wage benefits for injured workers, but also dependency and death benefits for the families of workers unable to come home after a fatal workplace injury.
One of the first hurdles in claiming Colorado dependency and death benefits is simply knowing that they exist and are available to the worker’s spouse or spouse and children. All too often an employer and its insurer are slow to let surviving family members know about the existence of benefits. A Denver workers’ compensation attorney can also help answer your questions related to eligibility for dependency and death benefits.
When a worker is killed in a work-related accident in Colorado, his or her spouse is entitled to lifetime benefits. If the spouse later remarries, he or she may be eligible for a lump sum payout of benefits. Typically, benefits paid to a surviving spouse will be 2/3 of the average weekly wage of the deceased employee.
There are also additional benefits available to a family who’s lost someone at work — funeral and burial expenses and potentially Social Security benefits may be available. If Social Security benefits are available, the amount you receive for Colorado dependency and death benefits may be decreased.