Workers Comp for a Fatal Injury in California

You may be surprised to learn just how often fatal injuries occur on-the-job. When they do, the family members of the deceased are often left suffering with the emotional trauma of the loss of a family member so unexpectedly. More than that, they are also left dealing with the financial ramifications of such an unexpected loss. We spoke to one wrongful death lawyer in Riverside to learn more about what happens when an employee endures a fatal injury at work in California.

We should start out by clarifying that not all family members of the deceased will be entitled to death benefits upon the passing of a relative due to a work injury. In fact, only family members who were financially dependent on the decedent will be able to collect death benefits. Some of these family members could include children, spouses, grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts, and nieces and nephews. 

Any children who are under the age of 18, spouses earning less than $30,000 annually, and adult children who are unable to earn a living due to physical or mental incapacity are immediately considered dependents of the deceased and are therefore entitled to death benefits when a fatal work injury occurs. 

In order to obtain death benefits, the eligible surviving family members will need to file a claim within one year of the decedent’s passing and no more than 240 weeks after the fatal injury occurred. Once the claim has been approved, the eligible surviving family members can begin collecting their benefits shortly thereafter. 

Death benefits in California are complex. First, it should be noted that they are disbursed in installments. The total amount of death benefits that the insurer will pay will be based upon how many dependents the decedent had. For example, if there was only one dependent, the insurer would pay installments totalling $250,000. But, if the decedent had three or more dependents, the insurer would need to pay $320,000 in death benefits. 

Children under the age of 18 can continue to collect installment death benefits even after the maximum benefit rate has been reached at the temporary disability rate until they become of legal age. 

Additionally, the insurance company will be expected to cover medical expenses relating to the decedent’s fatal injury, as well as funeral and burial expenses of the deceased, amounting to no more than $10,000.

Washington Work Comp Disasters

The majority of employers in Washington are required to provide their employees with workers compensation benefits when they are injured in a work-related accident or become ill due to the circumstances of their work environment. 

But that doesn’t always mean obtaining access to these benefits is an easy process. In fact, there are many situations in which the most deserving of employees are denied the benefits they rightfully deserve. 

Take the delivery driver who was in a Spokane crash. Since he was working when he was involved in a car accident, he should have been able to collect workers compensation benefits for the broken leg he suffered. Instead, his employer argued he was not entitled to workers compensation benefits because he was in between deliveries when he was involved in a car accident. 

Ultimately, the delivery driver was not able to get his workers comp benefits because he opted not to fight back against his denied claim. 

There was also the instance of the construction worker who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after years of work in the construction industry. His employer fought back against his workers compensation claim and claimed that he was exposed to asbestos in the home he lived in more than a decade ago and not through the work he did in construction over the years.

His home from 10 years ago did have asbestos, which his employer knew because he complained to them about it at the time, but it was more likely that his asbestos exposure was caused by his exposure in working with countless properties built in the 60s. 

After more than three years of back and forth with the insurance company, he was finally able to obtain the benefits he desperately needed while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. 

The truth is that insurance companies never want to pay out on claims because it costs them money to do so. They’ll look for any reason they can to deny a claim, even if an employee would be deserving of the benefits. These employees will either struggle to cope with the denial or get a lawyer to help them appeal their denied claim. 

Unfortunate workers compensation situations happen all across the country, but the best way to prepare for situations like these is to know your rights and be prepared to fight for them if it really comes down to it. 


How Workers Comp Works in Massachusetts

When you suffer an injury at work and will need to take time off in order to heal from your injuries, you may be wondering how you will continue to support yourself and your family. 

The vast majority of Massachusetts residents live paycheck to paycheck and simply cannot afford to go without pay for any length of time. Fortunately, the state requires nearly all employers to provide their employees with workers compensation coverage for this very reason.

Workers compensation coverage is something your employer had to purchase through an insurance company, and if you become injured or fall ill, the insurance company may be required to provide you with workers comp benefits.

However, in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits in MA, you will need to have become ill or injured due to either the circumstances of your work environment or the scope of your job responsibilities. 

So if you were to catch the flu, for example, workers comp would not apply. But if you work in a factory and were injured by a malfunctioning forklift, you would more than likely be entitled to workers compensation benefits. There are also times where you could be disqualified for benefits. Some of the most common reasons why a workers comp claim could be denied include the following:

  • The injuries were self-inflicted;
  • The employee was in violation of the company’s code of conduct;
  • The employee was committing a crime;
  • The employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you were injured at work and your claim for benefits was denied without reason, you may need a Boston workers comp lawyer to help get your claim approved. 

Once your work comp claim is approved, you can begin receiving your benefits. In most cases, this will amount to approximately 60 percent of your average weekly earnings. You can also expect your employer’s workers comp insurance provider to cover your medical expenses, as they relate to your injuries. 

In addition to these benefits, you may also be entitled to compensation for job training or education if your injuries are so severe that you are unable to continue working within the same industry. 

On-the-job injuries can have a devastating impact on your life, but if you know what benefits you’re entitled to and what resources are available to you, you may be able to get through this difficult time in your life more easily. 

Dealing with Depression After My Work Accident

This story comes to me from an anonymous author about how he battled a severe bout of depression following an accident at work. He didn’t get into the details of that, but it seems he was able to find the resources to get him back on the right track and thought I would share his story in case someone else out there was struggling with the same issues with their depression.


I was extremely depressed after my work accident. My injuries were so severe that I was wheelchair-bound for at least a year. As someone who loves jogging and hiking, I felt so useless. Even with workers compensation, I still felt depressed. My girlfriend had to drive me everywhere, and I couldn’t use the restroom by myself anymore.

I felt like a baby. I know my girlfriend didn’t mind, but I still couldn’t help but feel like a burden. I’m just lucky I was able to get workers compensation because we were vulnerable at the time. One missed bill would have landed us on the street, but I’m so thankful to the workers comp lawyer I hired. 

Still, I’d never felt as low as I did during this time. I even had to take anti-depression medicine to help me cope with my emotions. I honestly didn’t know what to expect whenever I was using the stuff and going to a therapist for the first time. Opening up about how I felt useless to a stranger was so odd at the time. 

It’s funny how shy I was back then. But slowly, I started to feel better as I went more and more to my therapist. Eventually, my therapist recommended The Healthy Choice Compounding Pharmacy, and they were able to create a more tailored prescription for my needs. After using exercise and medication, I started to feel like myself. 

The feelings I felt after my work accident started to seem distant and irrelevant. I was no longer replaying my accident over and over inside of my head. Irrational thoughts, such as my future being over, seemed silly now. It was as if I had a new lease on life, and I wanted to take advantage of my opportunities. 

Without the support of my girlfriend, I don’t know if I would have escaped my depression. For this reason, I couldn’t be more thankful for her and the other people I have in my life. Weirdly, I feel more energized following my accident. Even before my accident, I was going through the motions. 

Now I’m living in the moment, and every day brings a new and exciting experience. Yes, my work accident was painful at first, but without this experience, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So, to anyone going through anything remotely similar, never give up hope! Things may seem grim now, but you always have the power to turn things around!