Workers' compensation laws are designed to provide a way of compensating an employee who is injured, or the family of an employee killed, in a work-related accident. Employers are required to purchase workers' compensation insurance to protect their employees. Some states require employers to contribute to a state compensation fund, out of which employee benefits are paid. If an employee is killed in an accident in the course of his or her employment, dependents of the deceased employee are entitled to death benefits under the workers' compensation laws. A 'dependent' is typically defined as a person who has relied upon the decedent for support and who has a reasonable expectation that such support will continue. One of the problems with workers' compensation is that the benefits allowed by law are limited in many instances. However, in the death of an employee case, benefits owed to the dependents can be substantial. For more information on workers' compensation, contact a qualified attorney.