Suicide sadly affects some employees who are injured in workplace accidents. But when grieving families left behind seek death benefits from the employer’s workers’ compensation company, they may find significant resistance.
Are Survivor Benefits Available in Minnesota After a Suicide?
Sometimes, family of a deceased worker can receive “survivor benefits” or “death benefits” after the worker passes away due to a work-related injury. Workers sometimes get depressed or suffer from other mental health conditions after traumatic or serious work injuries. Unfortunately, a small percentage of these workers commit suicide as a result. Devastated families may not realize that survivor benefits could be available.
A workers’ compensation insurance company may have a legal obligation to provide benefits to the family if the consequences of a work injury directly led to the suicide. For example, losing a limb at work or being in a serious car accident in a work truck could lead to severe depression and then suicide. Since the death arose from a work injury, the insurance company would be required to pay out benefits. Sadly, many insurance companies deny claims of this nature because the causation of the suicide can be difficult to prove.
What Can Grieving Families Do to Get Benefits?
The family’s best bet when recovering from the death of an employee affected by a work injury is seeking legal advice. In Minnesota, there are many legal decisions covering suicide and availability of survivor benefits. Case law goes back to the 1960s, when several workers’ families received court decisions in their favor after the workers fell into deep depressions after work injuries and committed suicide. More decisions since then have cemented the law in this area.
Knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys can use this law to the advantage of surviving family members. Families should not have to suffer financial difficulties because of an insurance company’s skepticism. Take advantage of a free consultation today. And finally, if you are an injured worker feeling depressed or upset after a work injury, please seek out help from mental health professionals immediately.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.