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What if A Worker Dies At Work

Hi everyone! Dustin here from lawatyourside.com.

So what happens if someone passes away on the job?

Hopefully, you’re not watching this video because that has happened to someone that you know. If that’s so, my deepest and sincerest condolences. That’s very, very unfortunate, and I’m really sorry to hear that. You are as a family member potentially entitled to benefits if someone who passed away on the job, that person’s dependent maybe entitled to benefits. So there’s two things to really prove, in what’s called a death case in the California Workers’ Comp System.

The first is, did the person actually die because of the job, and sometimes it’s very obvious the person falls or something falls on them and they pass away, and it’s just a very obvious slam dunk causation analysis. Sometimes, it’s not as much a slam dunk analysis. It might be that someone may have worked at a job for 10, 15, 20 years and they get a stroke or they developed cancer, and is the cancer industrially related or is the stroke related to their work. So those are things that requires a lot of medical analysis and medical opinions to really determine whether there is a work-related injury or not.

Now, that being said, generally speaking, all you need is called 1% causation, meaning even if this person had a lot of other unhealthy things going on in their life but they work for a company and that company, breathing in chemicals or what not or something like that caused their death, all you need is 1% causation, meaning if 1% of the work they were doing was the cause of death, then that could be considered a death case, a work injury that caused this person’s death. So it’s not a huge threshold to reach but you do have to hit at least that 1%. If it’s psychological case, maybe someone had some psychological condition and that caused the stress, then it maybe a higher threshold but it really kind of depends on the facts and the circumstances and what exactly cause the death.

The second thing to look at is how many dependents does this person have. So a dependent is someone who is financially reliant upon the person who passed away. So maybe there’s a spouse who wasn’t working or a spouse who was working only part-time but make less than $30,000. They could be considered a total dependent. There could children that were financially dependent on that person or maybe handicapped children or handicapped adults even that can’t work that were financially dependent on that person.

So there’s a complex dependence analysis that you have to go through as well, but if you can prove causation and there are dependents, then that person’s family, those dependents, would be entitled to compensation under the workers’ compensation system. Generally speaking, it could be up to $250,000 to $320,000 depending on the dependents, how many there are, whether they’re what’s called partial dependence or total dependence, and again that depends on the amount of money that they receive and the contribution.

It’s somewhat of a complex analysis, it can be, but those are the things to keep in mind if there is someone that you know or someone unfortunately in your family that has passed away because of work.

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 feel 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're entitled to. Thanks so much.