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Death Caused By A Workplace Injury Or Illness

“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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were a total of 4,405 fatalities in the workplace in 2013. No matter the cause, families are adversely affected.

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.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

When a worker loses their life due to a workplace injury, the surviving dependents are eligible to receive benefits. These benefits are referred to as “death benefits.” 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 workers’ 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. California 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.

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. It’s important for legal advice. The law imposes a 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 to.

Let Me Help You Move Forward

I’m Stephen Dial, an experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Anaheim Hills. I know the law and how to protect the rights of families who have lost a loved one due to a workplace injury or illness. I will guide you and help you through this difficult time. At my firm – Dial & Associates PC – you will find caring, compassionate representation rooted in more than 35 years of experience. I will sit down with you, face to face, during a free initial consultation. I will listen to your story, get to know you and help you evaluate your options.

When you need a compassionate and dedicated advocate, my team and I are here to help. I assist injured Orange County workers with obtaining the compensation they need to become emotionally, and financially whole again. Call 714-923-7968 or contact me online to get started with a free initial consultation. Se habla español.