Certain occupations, such as law enforcement, are inherently dangerous. But even workplaces that are thought to be safe can be the site of injuries and even fatalities for employees. Although nothing can bring back a lost family member, survivors of people killed on the job may be entitled to compensation through the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system.
Massachusetts Fatal Workplace Injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 146 fatal workplace injuries were reported throughout New England in 2010. Massachusetts, with one of the largest workforces in New England, had 51 workplace fatalities, more than any other state in the survey. The number of worker deaths in Massachusetts was down 13 from the previous year and was lower than the number reported in any of the prior 10 years.
Benefits Available to Survivors of a Workplace Fatal Accident
If you are the spouse or child of a worker who died as the result of a workplace injury or illness, you could be entitled to benefits through the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. The system also provides survivor benefits to spouses and dependent children when a worker dies from a workplace injury or illness.
There is a maximum weekly benefit amount that a spouse or children can receive under the program. A spouse may receive two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage at the time of death, up to the maximum of the state’s average weekly wage at the time of the death. A spouse can continue to receive benefits as long as he or she remains unmarried. A child may be entitled to benefits if he or she is under 18, a full-time student, or is unable to work due to a physical or mental disability. A child may continue to be eligible for benefits even if the spouse’s benefits are discontinued because he or she remarries.
Even if you are eligible, however, getting a claim approved may be difficult. The employer’s insurance carrier may deny that the worker’s death was work-related. The complexity of the system alone could also cause your claim to be denied on technical grounds. If you live in Massachusetts, an experienced Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help.
If you have lost a family member as a result of a Massachusetts workplace injury or illness, the Massachusetts workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., are available to review your claim and help you decide your next move. If you would like to know what legal options you have for a work-related injury, we can be reached by calling 800-367-0871 or by using our online contact form.