Suicide is an unfortunate reality in our society, and it can disproportionately affect workers who have been injured in a workplace accident. As we spoke about on the blog in the past, workplace injuries have been tied to higher rates of suicide and opioid overdose death compared to the general public. Since there’s a clear link between certain workplace injuries and suicide risk, does that mean that a family could collect benefits if their loved one commits suicide in the wake of a workplace accident? As you might have guessed, it’s complicated.
Survivor Benefits In Minnesota
As you are probably aware, the families of loved ones who die in a workplace accident are entitled to compensation for these fatal accidents. These benefits are often referred to as death benefits or survivor benefits, and they are paid out after a fatality occurs on the job. But what if a workplace injury played a significant role in someone deciding to take their own life after the accident? Sadly, this is more common than you might think.
Imagine a situation where a worker loses a leg in a workplace accident. They may be forced to change jobs, take painkillers for the rest of their life or may no longer be able to provide the financial stability that they once could for their family. This physical and emotional burden can become too much for so many, and that can lead them to take their own life. Since their injury played a significant role in their decision to take their life, it stands to reason families should be able to seek survivor benefits.
A bright spot for families in this difficult situation is that they may be entitled to receive survivor benefits or similar aid after a loved one commits suicide. However, it’s not going to be easy. Your best bet will be to hire a lawyer who can stand up to the insurance company, because it’s all but certain your claim will be denied when you first file it. The insurance company will often deny your claim because suicide often leaves people with many unanswered questions, including why they ended their life. If they can suggest that other factors led to the decision to commit suicide, they may deny your claim and hope you don’t push back.
Thankfully, case law on suicide and workers’ compensation dates back to the 1960s and more recent local decisions have cemented a person’s ability to collect workers’ compensation after the suicide of a loved one. A lawyer can help prove that a workplace injury led to significant mental health changes, including but not limited to depression or a feeling of hopelessness, and this can help drive home your ability to collect an award.
Oftentimes evidence to strengthen your claim can be presented through the testimony of loved ones, friends, family, coworkers or medical experts, and a lawyer can help collect this testimony so that you don’t have to emotionally prepare yourself for these difficult conversations. Let us do what we do best and get you the compensation you deserve after the unimaginable.
For more information, or to schedule a free case review with an injury lawyer in the Twin Cities, give Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office a call today at (952) 230-2700.