“Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover…”
– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Workers Memorial Day speech Los Angeles, April 26, 2012

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there were a total of 4,405 fatalities in the workplace in 2013. No matter the cause, families are adversely effected.

On April 23, 2015, the California Department of Industrial Relations released statistics in their report Fatal Occupational Injuries, showing an increase in worker deaths in the state. A total of 396 people died on the job in 2013, up from 375 in 2012, and the largest increase in deaths — almost 48% since 2012 — among workers between 35 and 44 years old, according to data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

Latinos are overrepresented in the survey – Latino deaths increased from 37% to 49% as a percentage of total worker deaths between 2012 and 2013. The Department attributes this increase to the economic recovery and broadening of the agricultural and manufacturing bases. Nothing can be more devastating to a family than losing a loved one from a work injury – father, mother, child, sister or brother. Whether losing a loved one unexpectedly in a workplace accident or due to workplace violence, either takes a toll on the entire family. Such a tragedy is difficult enough for you to face much less having to deal with navigating through the complicated and difficult California workers’ compensation system. If your family relied on the income of the worker who was fatally injured, not knowing how the family is going to make it financially or knowing what your rights or options are, can be overwhelming.

When a worker loses his or her life due to a workplace injury, the surviving dependents are eligible to receive benefits. These benefits are referred to as “death benefits” for wrongful death , the worker’s spouse, children, or other dependents who relied on the worker are eligible for financial benefits.

A deceased worker’s “total dependents” and “partial dependents” qualify to receive death benefits under California Worker’ Compensation law. Total dependents are those who completely relied entirely on the deceased worker for financial support, while partial dependents are those who only partly relied on the deceased worker for financial support. CA Workers Compensation law requires that filing for these benefits be filed within 240-weeks or 4 1/2 years of the death of the worker. Which is called the statute of limitations, the limitation period may be different for certain types of injuries including some cancers and other illnesses that are work related. Experienced CA workers comp lawyer Stephen Dial knows the law and how to protect the rights of families who have lost a loved one due to a workplace injury or illness. Make an appointment for a free no obligation consultation as soon as possible so your rights are protected.

If you’re coping with the grief of losing a family member, you probably have not considered filing a workers’ compensation claim against your loved one’s employer but it is important that you seek legal advice. There are what is called under the law, Statute of Limitations which means there is a limited amount of time that a suit or claim can be filed. In general, once that statute of limitations on a case “runs out,” the legal claim is no longer valid. Therefore you need to consult with an experienced Orange County Workers Compensation lawyer as soon as possible so you don’t lose benefits that you and your family are entitled.

Orange County Workers Comp Lawyer Stephen Dial will guide you and help you though this difficult time. Dial & Associates offers caring, compassionate representation rooted in more than 30-years of experience. Steve will sit down with you, face to face, during a free initial consultation. He will listen to your story, get to know you and help you evaluate your options.

When you need a compassionate and dedicated advocate, Steve Dial and his legal team is here to help. We assist injured Orange County workers with obtaining the compensation they need to become emotionally, and financially whole again.

With our help you don’t have to worry about how you will pay for treatment