Killed en route to job site...

by Randy

My brother was killed in a single car accident on his way to a job site. He was a construction worker and drove a company vehicle to and from various job sites. It is not yet known whether or not the employer carried an personal injury coverage on the vehicle.

Would this likely be covered by Utah's workers' compensation coverage? I'm not sure if he typically "clocked in" during his commute to the job site or if the clock only began once he arrived on the job. Does workers' comp pay a lump sum for death in this situation, or does the company have to pay? Thanks for any info.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Killed en route to job site...":

Randy (Utah):

In most cases, workers who are traveling to and from work are not covered under Utah's Workers' Compensation Code. In the alternative, if your brother had already "clocked in" at the time he was killed, his estate would likely be covered.

Presuming your brother is found to have been working at the time of his death, his dependents would be entitled to benefits, including burial costs and an amount of his wages.

According to the Utah Labor Commission:

"Weekly compensation paid to dependents is 66 2/3% of the deceased employee’s average gross weekly wage on the date of the accident or when the occupational disease began, up to the maximum of the state’s average weekly wage, determined annually by the Department of Workforce Services.

If the wages do not exceed the state maximum, an additional $5 per week is
added for a dependent spouse and up to 4 dependent minor children ($25 maximum). This amount is then divided between all dependents.

Example: If wages are $10.00 per hour and the work week is 40 hours per week, the average weekly wage is $400.00 x 66 2/3% = $267.00. Assuming there is a surviving spouse and 2 minor children, and since this amount is less than the current state average weekly wage, an additional $15.00 is added for a total of $282.00 per week compensation."

This amount would be paid for 312 weeks following the date of death. Learn more about Utah's workers' comp laws at Utah's Code Section 31A-40-209.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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