There are very few guarantees in life. And even after the tragic death of a loved one in an on the job accident. While the Herndon law firm ABRAMS LANDAU, Ltd. has successfully won Awards for surviving family members after fatal workplace accidents, shootings and car crashes, each family member’s status can impact what benefits they receive. Normally, under Virginia law, the widow or widower of a deceased employee can receive up to 500 weeks of 2/3rds of their spouse’s average weekly gross wages, up to the maximum allowed by statute. Likewise, children can share in such weekly benefits when they are minors, and even for several years more, if they are enrolled in a full time school program like a college or university. Even parents, "in destitute circumstances" can receive workers comp payments upon proof of their dependency on their offspring or dire financial situation.
However, if a child reaches the age of majority or a spouse remarries, then the workers compensation insurance company for the employer can terminate weekly payments due to this "change in condition." That is why it is important to secure experienced legal counsel in every fatal on the job accident claim early, before an Award is entered and an incorrect benefit rate is established. Furthermore, an attorney who regularly appears in court before the Workers Compensation Commission will be able to advise the surviving family members as to what benefits are available to which family members (and for how long).