Another sad day at a Wisconsin workplace. The news came out that a worker was killed in a traumatic incident at a major Wisconsin employer: Oak Creek man killed in Caterpillar accident.
Such tragedies are becoming more and more common in Wisconsin and around the country. Recent statistics show that workplace deaths are rising with every passing year.
In Wisconsin, "death benefits" under the Worker's Compensation Act are payable to a deceased worker's dependents. If an injury kills a worker, a surviving dependent is entitled to a death benefit that is equal to four (4) times the worker's annual wages. A "dependent" generally is a spouse living with the deceased at the time of death, or if there is no live-in spouse, any children under the age of 18. If there is no live-in spouse or minor children, other family members could bring claims for partial dependency benefits.
Most of these tragic claims are accepted and paid without question, but disputes might arise (requiring attorney involvement) when family connections are involved.
Funeral and burial expenses (up to $10,000) should also be paid by worker's compensation.