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Father Of Six Shot Dead On ‘Law & Order’ Set — What Benefits Will His Children Receive?

Workers' Compensation Survivor Benefits

31-year-old, Johnny Pizarro, worked to clear and save parking spaces for vehicles associated with the popular show Law & Order. On July 19th, when he was working on North Henry Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn a man wearing a dark-colored hoodie and black pants, opened fire, hitting Pizarro’s neck and face.

Moments later, the father of six was pronounced dead at NYC Health + Hospitals / Woodhull.

While this bone chilling incident is one of the many cases of street violence reported in NY City, Pizarro’s children lost their dad, who worked very hard to provide for his family.

Since the police are still investigating the motive for the murder, Pizarro’s murder could be a case of workplace violence which erupted due to a possible argument over parking spaces.

In that case, the family of the victim may be entitled to receive survivor benefits under workers’ compensation law. Here’s all you need to know about it:

Workplace violence and workers’ compensation

In New York, the availability of workers’ compensation depends on the nature of the incident. Hence, to receive workers’ compensation benefits, the family of the victim will need to prove that the attack was work-related and didn’t occur due to personal reasons.

While it’s clear that Pizarro was on duty when he was shot in the neck and face, it’s unclear if he had a personal enmity with the shooter.

A workers’ compensation lawyer can help the family collect the evidence required to file for workers’ compensation.

Survivor benefits

As defined by law, victim’s dependents can receive survivor benefits if the victim dies from a compensable illness or injury.

These benefits cover the following:

Weekly cash benefits

To keep the family from losing their income, they’re entitled to receive two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly salary. This wage would be the amount they were getting 52 weeks prior to the accident.

However, this number shouldn’t exceed the maximum weekly benefit. From July 1st, 2022 to June 30th, 2023, the maximum limit is $1,125.46. This doesn’t take into account the number of dependents of the deceased.

But if there are no dependents, the victim’s parents or their estate could be entitled to receive a payment of $50,000.

Funeral or memorial expenses

Arranging the memorial service of a loved one who left too soon can be devastating for the deceased worker’s family.

However, workers’ compensation laws in NY City offer some respite to the family of the victim in the form of funeral and memorial compensation.

In some counties such as Bronx, Nassau, Kings, New York, Richmond, Queens, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland, the upper limit of funeral or memorial expenses is $12,000 while in all other New York counties, it’s $10,500.

Filing a death claim

The grieving family of Johnny Pizarro will have to file a death claim within two years of the incident to receive survivor benefits.

Here are some steps to filing a death claim:

Filing a Claim for Compensation in Death Case (Form C-62)

The immigration status of the victim or the family’s current location doesn’t affect the status of workers’ compensation. In New York, any worker who is injured on the job can claim workers’ compensation.

In the case of fatalities on the job such as that of Johnny Pizarro, his family will need to fill out Form C-62 with the board to claim for compensation.

Some documents that they’ll need to attach with the form include the following:

  • Form-AFF-1, which is an affidavit for death benefits
  • Form C-64 which is a report by the last attending doctor who pronounced the victim dead. They will need to file this document, mentioning how the worker’s death was caused by their work-related injuries
  • Form C-65 provided by the funeral home, stating the expensed incurred during the burial

Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer

Navigating the legal jargon might be difficult if the family isn’t aware of the legalities involved in filing for workers’ compensation. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help the family put together a strong case and even negotiate on their behalf.

This is why the family of the deceased should always have a reliable lawyer by their side to protect and fight for their rights.

If you or a loved one is looking for one of the best workers’ compensation lawyers in New York, reach out to our team at O’Connor Law PLLC.

Our founder, Mary Ellen O’Connor, doesn’t hold back from standing up for what’s right and goes above and beyond to ensure her clients’ get the compensation they deserve.

For more information and a free case review, get in touch right away!