The tragic death of a Titusville landscape worker highlights the issues faced by Florida families after a loved one is killed on the job. The 25-year-old man, Matthew Pollison, was run over by a work truck on the morning of May 6 while putting down mulch at the Temple Baptist Church. A Ford F-450 truck being driven by another worker backed over Pollison, who suffered critical injuries and was transported to Parrish Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Families who have lost a loved one to a work injury like this one have varying rights depending on a variety of legal factors.
In most instances, worker deaths, like worker injuries, are handled through Florida’s workers’ compensation system. This is the case whenever the worker’s death was caused by the actions of the worker’s employer or coworker or through no one’s fault at all. Death benefits awarded to a worker’s family can include actual funeral costs up to $7,500, as well as partial weekly wages paid to dependents of the deceased. The surviving spouse may also be entitled to educational benefits. Altogether, these benefits can reach amounts up to $150,000 in total. In most cases, the first payment to family members must be paid within 14 days of the worker’s death.
In situations where someone other than the worker or their employer was responsible for causing a worker’s death, the family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim under Florida law. These claims come in different forms depending on who or what was responsible for the accident. For example, cases could involve a reckless driver, a negligent property owner or even the manufacturer of a defective machine or product.
If a tragic work accident has impacted your family, you may be able to recover compensation. To learn about your legal options, speak with the dedicated Manatee County wrongful death attorneys at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.