It’s always difficult to lose a loved one. It can be even more difficult when their passing is a direct result of a workplace accident or injury. No amount of financial compensation can make up for losing someone that you love. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you to receive financial compensation for these losses. While it cannot make up for your loss, it can help with bills, expenses, and a way to transition to the next phase of your life.
There are roughly 11 million workers compensation accidents every year in California. Some of these cases result in death. If a death is related to work, then the dependents of the deceased employee can be awarded up to a total of $320,000.00. This is known as a death benefits case. In order to prevail in a death benefits case, you only have to prove that work contributed to the death. Work does not have to be the entire cause of the death in order to have a valid workers compensation death benefits case.
Threshold for Workers Compensation Death Benefits Case
If a work injury contributes to the death of an employee, the employer is liable for the death in the workers compensation field. In order to recover for death benefits under workers compensation, the original work injury had to have occurred within 240 weeks of the death. You have one year to file a workers comp death benefits case from the time of the last workers compensation benefit that the deceased employee received.
If the work injury, which caused the employee’s death, occurred on or after January 1, 2013, the deceased employee’s dependents can recover up to $10,000.00 in burial expenses. For workers compensation injuries that occurred prior to January 1, 2013, the dependents can recover burial expenses of a lesser amount.
Beyond the burial expenses, however, you can claim other kinds of damages when you lose a loved one through the course of doing their job. For example, you could claim “lost wages.” Your loved one was going to continue working for a long time. They took pride in putting food on your table. We can help you to receive compensation for the money that they would have made, going on into the future. You counted on that money to be there, and now that your loved one is gone, it’s in jeopardy. We can help.
In addition to that, the loss of someone that you love is indescribable. A dollar amount cannot be put on the life of someone you care for. That’s why, in these kinds of cases, you’re able to claim compensation for intangible losses as well. Losing a loved one makes everything that much more challenging. You’ll feel the lost partnership from their absence, the very real reduction of the quality of your life — these are all legitimate. You deserve to be compensated for them, just as much as burial expenses or anything else that might be considered more “tangible.” We can help you to find which damages you should file for, then will represent you aggressively.
Who qualifies as a dependent?
Members of a deceased worker’s family who are automatically considered to be total dependents include children under the age of 18, children of any age who are mentally incapacitated, and a spouse who earned $30,000.00 or less in the year prior to the injured worker’s death.
Other people who qualify as dependents are members who lived in the injured workers household or are related to the injured worker. This may include people who were related to the worker by adoption, blood, marriage, and so forth. They must have also financially relied on the injured worker prior to his/her death.
Examples of dependents include people who are a member of the deceased employee’s household as well as immediate family of the employee or their spouse. Examples of this include, obviously, the spouse as well as any children. Step-children and adopted children are always considered to be dependents. Additionally, siblings can be dependents, as well as grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, in-laws, and parents. To claim that, however, the deceased worker must have lived with them. Between “total dependency,” “partial dependency,” and everything else, these cases can get very complex very quickly.
No one ever wants to have to deal with legal complexity. That’s especially true, of course, when mourning a loved one. By having a Long Beach workers compensation lawyer on your side, you can get support during a difficult time. There’s nothing about this process that’s easy. However, we can make it easier than it might have been.
Losing someone you love due to an injury they suffered at work is one of the most difficult experiences that a person can go through. These benefits exist to provide you with some financial security during this time and moving forward. A workers’ compensation attorney can help to support you through this, so that you have one pressing concern to deal with. If you or a loved one has a relative or household member that died from work related injuries, please contact our workers compensation attorney for a risk free consultation.