In some Georgia workers’ compensation cases, the consequences of the workplace injury are tragic. In the event of the death of a worker, the worker’s family is generally entitled to death benefits under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act to ease the financial burden on the family. These benefits normally include burial expenses, as well as weekly ongoing compensation for the employee’s dependents.
Under current law, for a compensable work injury, the employer must pay the reasonable expenses of the employee’s burial, up to $7,500. In addition, the worker’s dependents are entitled to weekly compensation of two-thirds of the worker’s weekly income, up to a maximum of $575 per week. Dependents normally include the worker’s spouse, children, and dependent stepchildren.
However, employers often dispute that a claim is compensable to avoid paying death benefits under the Act. The employer may claim that the worker was not an actual employee or that the injury did not take place on the job. A person claiming benefits must show that the death resulted instantly from an accident arising out of and in the course of employment, or that during a period of disability caused by an accident, the worker died as a result.
OSHA Fines Walking Dead Producers for Death of Stuntman
According to a recent news article, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the producers of the show “The Walking Dead” $12,675 after a stuntman died while working on an episode of the show last year. The stuntman was 33 years old when he died after a fall on set in Senoia, Georgia last July. He was an experienced stunt performer, but he fell over 20 feet from a balcony and suffered a head injury.
The production company was cited and fined for failing to provide adequate protection for its workers. The production company stated that it takes employee safety very seriously and that it disagreed with the issuance of the citation.
The death was the second death while filming in Georgia in recent years. In 2014, a crew member was killed in a train accident outside Savannah, Georgia while filming for “Midnight Rider.” A regional administrator from OSHA stated that the tragedy should be a “wake-up call for the entertainment industry.” He said the industry must “commit to safety practices” for stunt performers and actors. Although fatalities have declined since the early days of stunt work, one report showed an increase in on-set fatalities in recent years. Some have blamed the rise on the need to increase ratings by capturing dramatic footage.
Has Your Family Member Suffered a Work Injury?
If your loved one has suffered an injury at work, your family may be entitled to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The attorneys at the Georgia law office of J. Franklin Burns, P.C. have decades of collective experience handling Georgia workers’ compensation claims. We are authorities on Georgia workers’ compensation law and have a track record of proven results. To learn more about how we can help you obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, call us for a free consultation at 404-303-7770.