Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Attorneys Rhode Island & Massachusetts

Fatal Work Accidents and Workers’ Compensation

We will fight to help your family move forward

Some jobs are dangerous, and some workers leave home every day knowing there is a chance they won’t come back. That doesn’t make the pain of losing someone any less, though.  When a worker is killed on the job, or hurt on the job and dies due to those injuries later, their family can claim workers’ compensation death benefits.

However, the rules regarding death benefits are complex, and navigating the workers’ compensation system on your own can be difficult. The last thing you need when you’re grieving is to go through this process alone. The fatal work accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Deborah G. Kohl would be honored to help your family in this difficult time. Schedule your free, confidential consultation today.

Workers’ compensation death benefits in Massachusetts

When a worker covered by workers’ compensation dies on the job in Massachusetts, their surviving spouse and dependents can get death benefits. For workers’ compensation purposes, a “dependent” is a family member or next of kin who was wholly or partially dependent on the deceased worker for financial support at the time of death.

In general, the weekly workers’ compensation death benefit in Massachusetts is two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by law. A surviving spouse can keep collecting these benefits indefinitely, so long as they remain dependent and do not remarry.

If the surviving spouse remarries, they will cease receiving benefits, but each eligible dependent child will receive $60 per week, up to a maximum total amount paid equal to the amount the surviving spouse was receiving. For example, if there are six dependent children, they normally would each receive $60 for a total of $360 a week, but if the surviving spouse had only been receiving $325 per week, each child’s award would be reduced to keep the total amount paid at $325.

In addition, workers’ compensation pays funeral and burial expenses in an amount up to eight times the average weekly wage in Massachusetts.

Workers’ compensation death benefits in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, death benefits are calculated as though the injured worker were still alive but totally disabled: 75% of the worker’s spendable earnings, up to the state maximum. In addition, $40 per week is paid for each dependent child. Children remain dependents until they turn 18, or 23 if they are full-time students; if the surviving child has a qualifying disability, they can continue to receive benefits for life.

There is no specific end date for death benefits in Rhode Island; they generally stop when the surviving spouse dies or remarries. If there are still dependent children when the surviving spouse dies or remarries, then the children can continue to collect benefits for as long as they are eligible.

Our law firm will guide your family through the process

The loss of a loved one is always challenging for families. Navigating the workers’ compensation system doesn’t have to be. We have worked with many families going through similar circumstances in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and we will bring our experience to your case as well. Throughout the workers’ compensation process, we will represent your interests with experience and integrity, keeping you informed on the progress of your case, but taking care of the day-to-day so that you can focus on grieving and healing.

No amount of legal action can bring your loved one back, but we are prepared to do what it takes to help you move forward. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal work accident, get experienced legal representation on your side. Contact us today for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.


Fall River

191 Bedford St #301 Fall River, MA 02720
Phone: 508-677-4900


16 Chestnut St #130B Foxborough, MA 02035
Phone: 508-717-3596


127 Dorrance St #400A Providence, RI 02903
Phone: 401-307-4502

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