Work Comp RFA and Utilization Review
June 12, 2017

Work comp benefits when worker dies at work

Hi everyone! Dustin here from lawatyourside.com.

The question I want to answer today is if someone you know passes away at work. Unfortunately, something happens and they pass away at work, what are the benefits that the family would be entitled to?

So, if the unfortunate case happens where someone is working and they get injured at work, the court first have to look at did in fact the death wasn’t caused by work, and sometimes you have something that’s just very obvious, a slam dunk. Something happens or falls on the person or whatever and they pass away at work. Sometimes, it might be delayed a few years. Sometimes someone might be having stress and anxiety at work for a number of years. They stop working and then two years later, they may pass away. So it’s not quite clear cut, but still you could make a determination that “Hey, yeah, the stress and anxiety this person had for all these years, they did end up causing the death that occurred later on.” So that’s the first threshold question you got to ask.

If it’s in the second case where maybe it’s not so obvious where the person passed away because of work, you’ll need a doctor. They’ll need a medical determination to determine whether the death was caused by work or not, and all that you need is 1% causation. If 1% of the work caused the person to pass away, then you’ve met the first threshold, and then you can then go on to the second threshold.

The second threshold question it’s looking at is how many beneficiaries did this person have? There are a lot of rules and ways to look at it, but you look at the number of beneficiaries. So did the person have children under the age of 18 that were financially dependent on the person who passed away? Was there a spouse who’s making a certain amount of money per year that was also financially dependent on the person who passed away?

So there’s a number of threshold questions and issues that we go into really on a fact-specific case to make that determination, but if it’s found the injury was work-related and there are beneficiaries, then you’re entitled to benefits slam dunk from that point on. The issue comes if there are no beneficiaries but the death was work-related, then you still may not be entitled to any benefits, but there are ways to navigate that. There are ways to negotiate it, can still get benefits, but again the first and most important question is was the death caused by work or not, and again, typically, you need a medical determination to make that decision.

So hopefully, I had answered some of your questions with that. Hopefully, unfortunately, if that unfortunate case has happened to you or your family, I’m really sorry and we would like to help you out if we can in any way, shape, or form. So thanks for watching and hope this video helps you.

If you want further assistance with your work-related injury or you want to talk to a lawyer and get your questions answered or you want us to represent you in your workers’ compensation case, please fill free to give us a call at the number below or click the link below and fill out the submission form, and we will do our best and work our hardest to ensure that we give you all the benefits that you are entitled to under the law. And we hope you have a smooth, efficient case that runs through, so you can get back to your healthiest that you can be and also receive all the benefits that you are entitled to. Thanks so much.

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