Showing posts with label Death Cases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death Cases. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


By Chad Snow, Founding Partner/Attorney

We are asked from time to time what happens to injured workers compensation benefits when he or she dies.  

The very simple answer is that the benefits die with them.  Unless the death was caused by or contributed to by the effects of the industrial injury, benefits cease at the time of death of the injured worker.  This is because workers compensation benefits are intended to compensate for time lost from work – a worker who is deceased will obviously no longer be working.  

If the death is related at least in part to the industrial injury or effects from the treatment for that injury, then survivors’ benefits may be payable.  Those benefits are discussed in a separate blog post about survivor’s benefits. 

For more information on Workers' Compensation or Social Security Disability, please contact Snow, Carpio & Weekley toll-free at 855-325-4781 or visit our website at We serve the entire State of Arizona and have offices located in Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma and Lake Havasu City.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


by Attorney Chad Snow, Partner
Snow, Carpio & Weekley

We've had several cases lately where our clients have passed away for a variety of reason, some related to their injuries and others unrelated.  The question then becomes – what happens to that claim?  Will the family get any benefits after the death of the injured worker?

Since the only compensation in a workers comp claim is for lost wages, compensation usually terminates with the death of the injured worker – the worker can’t work if he is dead so there are no lost wages.

However, if the death was caused or contributed to by the industrial injury, the survivors of the deceased worker can get ongoing compensation benefits for a percentage of what the worker would have been able to earn but for the injury.

In many cases, the relationship between the industrial injury and the death is not clear.  In these cases, a workers compensation attorney usually takes the case to court to prove medical causation – that the death was at least partially related to the injury or the work.  Surviving spouses, children, and other dependents can get a percentage of the deceased worker’s average monthly wage until age 18 for minors, and until death for surviving unmarried spouses.

You should always consult with a workers’ compensation attorney with any questions about survivors benefits.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job or has a medical condition that prevents them from working for 12 months or longer, call Snow, Carpio & Weekley on our toll-free number at 855-325-4781 for a free consultation in person or over the phone, or visit our website at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What benefits are available for a worker who is killed on the job in Arizona?

This entry deals with the saddest cases that we handle as worker’s compensation attorneys in Arizona, where a worker is killed on the job. An employee who dies as a result of an accident arising out of his employment or an occupational disease may have three different claims:

1. A claim for death compensation benefits for his or her survivors.
2. A claim for burial expenses.
3. A claim for medical expenses incurred before the employee’s death.

In cases for compensation benefits for survivors, surviving spouses, children, parents, or siblings may be eligible to receive a “death compensation benefit” which consists of a percentage of the employee’s average monthly wage at time of death. A surviving spouse is entitled to monthly benefits in an amount equal to 35% of the deceased worker’s average monthly wage. Those benefits, however, end upon the remarriage or death of the surviving spouse. For each surviving child, an additional benefit of 15% of the worker’s average monthly wage is added up to a maximum of 66 2/3% of the employee’s average monthly wage at time of death. Surviving children benefits end at age 18. In order to qualify for surviving spouse benefits, the surviving spouse must have been legally married to the deceased worker at the time of the injury. In cases where a surviving parent, brother, or sister was wholly or partially dependent on the injured worker at the time of death, they may also be entitled to survivor’s benefits in different amounts.

In claims for burial expenses, the employer and carrier usually pay out a lump sum of $5,000.00 to cover any reasonable burial expenses occurring as a result of the on-the-job death.

Because of the complexity of on-the-job death cases and the possibility that a claim against a third-party may result, survivors of a deceased worker should always consult with an experienced worker’s compensation attorney.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fatal Leukemia Linked to Exposure to Benzene in Paint

I have a very sad workers compensation death claim for a young man who was a painter for several years with a local company that paints aircraft and automobile parts.  He started coughing one day and within a couple of weeks had bruises over his body and was extremely fatigued, and starting spitting up blood.  He checked himself into the hospital and was diagnosed with acute leukemia and passed away within 8 days.  He left behind a young wife and two kids. 

I have to say that I hate handling cases like that, although it is very gratifying to help a family take a horrible situation and turn it for the better.  In this case, I ended up researching a lot about the link between leukemia and benzene, which is a common component in paint and other solvents.  Most of my research pointed to the accepted fact that painters are at a higher risk to getting leukemia because of their prolonged exposure to high amounts of benzene in the paint they mix and spray. 

I will now need to obtain information from the employer to show what chemicals my client may have been exposed to while working for them.  I will need medical expert testimony to show that it is more likely than not that my client's exposure to those chemicals caused his leukemia which in turn caused his death.  His family will then receive survivors benefits under the Arizona Workers Compensation Act. 

This case serves as a reminder that many jobs that seem otherwise to be very harmless can be in fact potentially fatal.  Workers should be aware of the chemicals that they are exposed to and the potential long term affects that they can have on the body.  Employers are required to maintain Material Safety Data Sheets for any chemical compounds that workers use.  It would be wise to know what you're being exposed to before it's too late. 

Chad T. Snow is an attorney who represents injured workers before the Industrial Commission of Arizona and the Social Security Administration.  He can be reached at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley, at his Phoenix office at (602) 532-0700, or in Tucson at (520) 647-9000.