WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE NEWS, #11: WILL WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DELIVER FOR THE UPS DRIVERS’ FAMILY?

A horrible accident occurred in San Diego, California.  A UPS Driver was killed when a twin engine aircraft crashed their vehicle.  It appears that a doctor, who owned the plane, may have been piloting the plane on a commute.

Is This a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Assuming that the UPS Driver was “on the clock” and on their route, this accident would be considered a workers’ compensation claim.   As the individual passed, this would be a death claim.

If the driver had dependents, i.e spouse or children, they would be able to receive death benefits.   The amount of death benefit depends on the nature of the dependency.  These factors include both factual and legal issues.  The death benefit amount can vary based upon the number of dependents, the characterization of the dependency, total or partial, and the age of a dependent.

In addition to the death benefit, burial expenses up to $10,000.00, are to be paid.

Is There Any Other Claim?

Yes. It appears that there may be a Third Party Liability Claim.  While an investigation may determine that there are multiple Third Parties, it would appear that the pilot, the doctor, and his estate, may be liable.   This lawsuit could be brought along with the Workers’ Compensation Claim.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE NEWS #10, A FATAL TRAGEDY THAT OCCURRED IN DRAMATIC FASHION

A Bolshoi Theater had a tragedy occurred when an actor was crushed to death when a set backdrop fell upon him.   The actor was 37 years old.  It is reported that former Bolshoi performers condemned the working conditions.

According to the story, “Nikolai Tsiskardze, a former principal dancer at the theatre, told Russian newspaper Komsomolkaya Pravda following the incident that the company’s actors, dancers and workers suffer frequent injuries and near-misses as a result of the dangerous working conditions. ‘Backstage is hell,’ said Tsiskardze. ‘Dancers damage their legs when sets and staircases fall over. I have been screaming about the problems of the Bolshoi for 25 years. There is no order, no medicine, no ethics.’ Dailymail.com

Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Deaths?

Yes.  Workers’ Compensation Law in California would consider this fatality to be a death claim.  In general, dependents of the actor would be able to make a claim for death benefits.   Dependency benefits are based upon whether the claimed dependent is either actually dependent or legally dependent upon the deceased.   Dependency is a matter that requires analysis and must address certain time periods.    Additionally, burial expenses up to $10,000.00, are to be provided.

Is There Any Other Claims?

Given the facts, and the work conditions, there were issues of dangerous work conditions.   There is the possibility of a serious and willful misconduct claim in the matter.  A CAL-OSHA investigation may reveal whether there were any safety violations.  This would be an issue worth investigating.  Also, if the Theatre was owned and operated by a Third Party, a civil suit might be indicated if there was negligence on their part.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE NEWS #7:  WHEN LIFE SAVERS LOSE THEIR LIVES

A California Firefighter recently died when battling the State’s second largest wildfire, the Dixie Fire.

While the individual who died was not identified, it would appear that he worked for CALFIRE and was an Assistant Fire Engine Operator with the Lassen National Forest.   It was reported that he suffered from a previous illness. Foxnews.com

What Type of Claim Can Be Filed When A Worker Dies?

In the event of a death, the Injured Worker’s dependents may pursue death benefits.  Dependency can vary depending upon a variety of factors.   These factors include the amount of support provided, the dependent’s age and the dependent’s marital status.

If Someone Had a Pre-Existing Medical Condition and Dies On the Job, Would That Impact a Death Claim?

Possibly. If work had a causative role in the death, then death benefits would be indicated.  If work had absolutely no causative role, then a death claim may not be viable.  The causation decision is made per medical opinion and legal statutes.  For example, for certain firefighters, a heart presumption applies.  This presumption can impact the medical provider’s opinion on causation.

For Firefighters, Are There Special Benefits in the Event of Death Claims?

For certain Safety Members, there are special benefits that apply.  For certain dependents, they may be eligible for a special death benefits retirement through CALPERS. In that circumstance, a dependent will have to choose a special death benefit pension versus workers’ compensation death claim.   Other dependents may have to pursue death benefits via the workers’ compensation appeals board. See Jones v. CDCR Kern Valley State Prison, 2014 Cal. Wrk. Comp. P.D. LEXIS 461

Are Burial Expenses Provided?

Yes. Workers’ compensation death cases provide for burial expenses.   The current amount of the expenses is $10,000.00.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

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