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Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits for First Responders

NY Workers Compensation First Responder

What are Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits for First Responders? Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in NYC Explains

Being a first responder is a dangerous job. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, first responders including law enforcement, firefighters, prevention personnel, and ambulance crews all have a higher risk of fatal occupational injuries than other careers, estimated to be roughly two and a half (2.5) times greater of a risk than all other occupations. Although injuries workers could obtain workers’ compensation benefits after a work-related injury or illness, many families are unsure where to turn if a loved one is killed in a workplace accident. If you lost a loved one in a workplace accident or due to a work-related illness, turn to our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in NYC for help with what to do next.

Here at O’Connor Law, our compassionate and dedicated team of professionals can handle nearly any type of workers’ compensation claim. This includes where a loved one was killed as the result of a work-related injury or illness. In this situation, families may be entitled to seek a death benefit claim. These types of claims require an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC like ours because death benefit claims are particularly complicated and difficult to handle due to the financial proof and calculations that must occur. Further, death benefits involving a first responder are often contested or challenged when it comes to causation, especially when a first responder’s death may have been caused by chemical exposure or due to an illness. If you suspect that your loved one was killed due to his or her employment, please call our compassionate and skilled workers’ comp team for help by dialing (844) 692-6671 to schedule a FREE consultation with our workers’ comp law firm.

Common Causes of Death for First Responders that May Be Covered by Workers’ Compensation Benefits

First responders who die due to work-related injuries or illnesses may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits under New York law. The requirement under the WC law is that the death be related to employment. That means that a first responder’s death does not have to occur at work or in a work-related accident, but could have been caused by work conditions. An example of that is toxic exposure that causes cancer which ultimately results in death.

Some common examples of first responder deaths that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits include the following:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Asbestos
  • Falls
  • Gunfire
  • Fires, explosions, and related thermal accidents
  • Toxic black mold exposure
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning, including toxic chemicals, carbon monoxide, smoke inhalation, or other chemicals
  • Firefighter spray, firefighter foam, or other fire extinguisher chemicals
  • Assault injuries, including with weapons such as knives
  • Falling from a height off a ladder or another apparatus
  • Head injuries
  • Being struck by an object
  • Crushing injuries or caught in/between an object, and
  • Many other types of serious or catastrophic injuries or harm caused by a first responder’s employment.

What are Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits for First Responders?

Under New York workers’ compensation laws, a family who had a loved one working as a first responder who dies in the line of duty may be entitled to death benefits. These death benefits are to compensate a family with lost wages from what that loved one would have warned. They are used to help the family be financially supported.

Generally, there are two types of workers’ compensation schemes that may apply for first responders. The first is through the workers’ compensation laws governing nearly all workers. Under this format, a loved one’s average weekly wages are determined by looking back on the last year or by dividing a salary by 52 weeks. The family of a lost one will recover a total of 66 2/3% of the loved one’s average weekly wages. If there is just a spouse, the spouse will receive all of that. If there is a spouse and children, the spouse will receive 35 2/3% and the children will equally share 30%. Other familial situations may have other payouts which should be addressed by a workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC.

However, volunteer ambulance workers of firefighters who are killed due to work-related injuries or illnesses may have another option. Under this format, a spouse with no children will receive $56,000 payment and $887 a week. If there are children, the only difference is the spouse will receive $488 and the children will receive $400. There are other combinations as well that may need to be reviewed by an experience workers’ comp lawyer.

Was a Loved One Killed in the Line-of-Duty or From Work-Related Injuries? Call Our NYC Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Help

When a loved one is a first responder, we know that any call could be his or her last call. We never think about that until it is too late. We understand that the loss of a loved one who is serving the community can be absolutely devastating. If you did lose a loved one due to a work-related accident or illnesses, please call our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC for help. Here at the O’Connor Law, we offer FREE consultations to learn more about your rights to compensation under New York law. Your family can schedule yours by dialing (844) 692-6671 or by sending us a private message through our “Contact Us” box available here.

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