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Workers’ compensation may not be valid if fatal fall was suicide

| Aug 21, 2018 | Workers' Compensation

One of the most significant risks that construction workers face is falling from heights. Many fatal falls have led to surviving family members filing death benefits claims with the California workers’ compensation insurance system. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating a fatal fall accident that occurred on a recent Thursday morning.

Reportedly, an employee of a consulting firm hired by a construction company fell from a residential building that was under construction. Very little information about the accident was made available, except that it occurred at approximately 6 a.m. and that the 19-year-old worker fell from the upper floor. However, it is reportedly suspected that it was a suicide rather than an accident.

A spokesperson for the consulting firm says the man was not part of the team that provided services at this construction site at the time of the fatal fall. The employer does not know why he was on the tower from which he fell. However, Cal/OSHA investigators have launched an investigation into the incident to determine whether it was a work-related accident or not.

Whenever a work-related accident claims the death of a construction worker, the surviving family members will be entitled to claim death benefits from the workers’ compensation program of the state. However, if there are suspicions that a fatality is not work related, benefits claims will be invalid. Families can consult with a workers’ compensation attorney who has experience in fighting for the rights of California employees and their families. A lawyer can explain their rights and investigate the circumstances of the death to establish whether there are valid claims.