Knowledge base

Does Workers Compensation Cover Death?

If you were to die as a result of a workplace accident or injury your dependents or family may make a claim under the Queensland Workers Compensation regime. Your family may be entitled to a lump sum payout or quarterly payments for dependents as well as reasonable expenses to cover the cost of your funeral.

Exposed worker covered with face mask

In order to be successful in making a claim, family members and dependents must prove their relationship with the deceased and provide medical evidence to show that the deceased died as a result of an injury or illness caused by their work. This may include a workers compensation medical certificate, autopsy report, death certificate or coroner’s inquest report.

If a person dies as a result of a late onset injury such as mesothelioma or malignant skin cancer additional evidence must be provided to prove that the person was “working” during the period of exposure.

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Dependency claims 

If your spouse, parent or someone else you are financially dependent on is killed in a workplace accident or dies from a work-related illness, you may be entitled to make a dependency or wrongful death claim.  Financial dependents include children under the age of 18, undertaking full-time study and those over 18 with reduced mental capacity.

Starting a dependancy claim

The amount of compensation awarded varies from case to case based on the financial circumstances of the relationship with the deceased and the deceased’s contribution towards the claimant’s expenses.

If the worker’s death resulted directly from his or her employer’s negligence, a common law claim may be made against the employer. Such claims will only succeed where it can be proved that the deceased’s death could have been prevented by reasonable actions of the employer such as instituting better systems of work or better training systems, using different equipment or by adhering to policies.

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Last update on:
June 1, 2021
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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