Workers' Compensation Death Benefits in California
In the State of California, workers' compensation provides death benefits to surviving family members if a loved one has passed away as a result of a work-related injury or illness. These payments can be made to a spouse, children, or other dependents of the deceased individual. Because the victim is deceased, one of the surviving members of their family or representative must bring about the claim.
When a death is involved, workers' compensation can cover:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Death benefits
The purpose of the death benefits in workers' compensation is to offer compensation for the loss of financial support that their loved one would have provided. The benefits will vary depending on how many dependents of the deceased there are and whether or not they are partial dependents.
You can find out what to expect by contacting our Orange County workers' compensation lawyers at Alvandi Law Group, P.C.
Compassionate Counsel. Maximum Results
At Alvandi Law Group, P.C., we understand what a difficult time loved ones are going through as they grieve the loss of a family member. Filing for workers' compensation may be the last thing on their mind. Not to mention, the process may appear complex and confusing, and few want to add even more stress to their lives. Fortunately, our team of experienced lawyers is well-equipped to handle any type of workers' compensation death benefits claims.
We are here to offer you our compassionate and supportive services during this difficult time in your life. You don't have to worry about a thing because we will handle all the details for you. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and are ready to take on your case.
Schedule your free initial consultation by calling (800) 980-6905 today.
Wrongful Death Benefits FAQ
What are the leading causes of workplace deaths?
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the construction industry is one of the worst industries in terms of worker deaths each year, year after year. Furthermore, there are four different safety hazards that tend to cause the most workplace deaths, which OSHA calls the “Fatal Four.” The OSHA Fatal Four is comprised of falls from heights, electrical exposures, struck-by falling object accidents, and caught-in/between accidents involving heavy machinery.
How much time do you have to file a death benefits claim?
In California, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is one year from the date of the work-related accident. If you need to claim death benefits through workers’ compensation, then the statute of limitations will likely be the same one year, which is not much time. But if you are pursuing damages through a wrongful death claim filed in civil court, then the statute of limitations is two years. To be sure you do not miss any important deadlines, you should always work with an experienced attorney.
Does it matter if my loved one’s mistake might have caused the fatal
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system, which means that it is not necessary for the claimant to prove that they were not liable for their accident, injuries, and damages. In a death benefits claim, the same no-fault system should still apply. If the employer says that your loved one made a mistake that caused their untimely passing, like forgetting to secure their own harness on a scaffolding, then you should still be eligible to file for those benefits.
Can I sue for other damages if I get death benefits?
Typically, once you use the workers’ compensation insurance system to get death benefits and related damages, you cannot get additional damages through a civil injury claim, especially not if you want to file that claim against the employer. However, if your loved one’s fatal workplace accident was caused by a third party, then you might be able to file a claim against that party and demand damages not rewarded through workers’ compensation. For example, if a vendor visiting the property inadvertently caused the fatal accident, then you could demand pain and suffering damages – as well as any other damage not already provided through workers’ comp – from that vendor and/or their employer.
Can you get more damages after accepting a wrongful death settlement?
Once you sign a wrongful death settlement, it is essentially impossible to come back later and ask for more compensation. In virtually all settlement agreements, there will be a clause that says the liable party or defendant is cleared of any future liability, no matter what new evidence and damages arise. For this reason, it is crucial to speak with an experienced attorney before signing any agreement.
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