When a dedicated worker loses their life in a fatal accident, it can be tragic. When a staff member dies on the job, the Los Angeles Workers’ Compensation system offers death payments to domestic partners, spouses, children, and any eligible alternative dependents or family members.
These benefits can often be a lifeline for surviving family members, particularly if a deceased worker was the family’s primary source of income.
What if, on the other hand, a staff member dies on the job due to a third party’s negligence? In this instance, may surviving family members pursue a wrongful death claim? What is the difference between a wrongful death lawsuit and death benefits from workers’ compensation? We address all of these concerns below.
First and foremost, you should be aware that if your domestic partner or spouse died in a working accident, you might receive workers’ compensation death benefits based on the circumstances. You can submit a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain even more money based on your loved one’s death circumstances.
A wrongful death lawyer can assist you in determining what benefits you may obtain and negotiating the best potential settlement. Without a doubt, no sum of money can bring a loved one back, but it can assist you with keeping afloat financially.
After a sad loss, the last thing someone wants is to be struggling to pay burial expenses or their bills.
Let us take a closer look at wrongful death claims and workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation has a design to offer financial death benefits to employees and their dependents who get killed or injured on the job.
Several individuals are unaware that workers’ compensation is designed to prevent businesses from getting sued for injuries or fatalities on the job if the boss adds to a hazardous workplace death or environment and negligence.
This indicates that even if a boss breached safety regulations imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Workers’ Compensation rules protect them.
Suppose third parties, for example, a general contractor, negligent appliance manufacturer, or subcontractor, were responsible for a workplace death. In that case, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim against the third party rather than the employer.
One exception to this regulation is if the worker’s death happened as a result of a co-worker’s careless use of a car. As a result, if someone gets killed in a work-related car accident, you should immediately contact a wrongful death lawyer from Ehline Law Firm.
Surviving family members need to show the following in order to file a wrongful death suit:
Compensation regarding an intangible loss is one of the features that distinguishes a wrongful death claim from a workers’ compensation claim; workers’ compensation does not cover these expenses.
Let us look at the variations between a wrongful death suit and workers’ compensation death benefits.
Workers’ compensation in Los Angeles is a zero-fault system, meaning that living family members do not need to show that a loved one died due to the employer’s negligence. It is usually as simple as submitting a wrongful death claim to collect death benefits. However, to receive death benefits through this system means that victims’ families relinquish their ability to sue their loved one’s company, and workers’ compensation death benefits do not compensate for intangible losses like the lower life quality or the loss of companionship.
The amount of death benefits is determined by the amount of money earned by the dead employee before their death. Death benefits are generally equal to two-thirds, or 66.7 percent, of an individual’s income, paid weekly to qualifying and other dependents; there is a statutory minimum and maximum compensation rate, and in most cases, they allow a cost of living allowance.
California workers’ compensation insurance companies must also cover reasonable burial expenses and all medical expenses incurred before the work-related injury or death.
Surviving family members previously wholly or partially reliant on the deceased worker for financial support during the time of the workplace injury or accident may receive an entitlement for death benefits.
Qualifying relatives – Certain family members are classified as total dependents, including youngsters under 18 years old and children who cannot work because of physical or mental disabilities.
Under the California workers’ comp system, surviving family members have a year to make death benefits claims. The living spouse receives death benefits until they remarry. Usually, dependents can gain death benefits until they are 18.
Rather than giving weekly benefits, some businesses choose to award survivors a one-time lump payment. It is critical not to hurry into the settlement; instead, speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney who may ensure the boss reasonably reimburses you.
Workers’ comp needs to also compensate surviving and partial dependents for medical expenses, any temporary disabilities, and permanent disability benefits accrued to the deceased person at the time of their death.
Wrongful death lawsuits often provide far more money to a surviving family member than workers’ comp.
Wrongful death payments can cover things like:
As per California law, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the day of the worker’s death. (It is worth noting that wrongful death claims aren’t restricted to workplace malpractice cases.)
There are both benefits and disadvantages when it comes to filing a claim due to a work-related accident:
If a loved one died as a result of a work-related accident or injury, the Ehline Law Firm law offices can assist you in getting the most out of workers’ comp and determine if a wrongful death suit is suitable.
If you are unsure where to go for a wrongful death attorney, the possible components of the wrongful death complaint are, or how much wrongful death legal fees cost, our friendly and charismatic professionals can assist you.
Employers have a responsibility to provide employees with appropriate working equipment, training, and facilities. They are also accountable for giving proper workers’ comp to the victim’s surviving dependents if they cannot respect these commitments and an employee or worker gets fatally harmed.
Ehline Law Firm has the objective of assisting surviving family members in receiving proper damages and justice. Our team values the attorney-client relationship we offer; therefore, when you obtain legal advice from our professional attorneys, you know that they act in your best interests.
Call us at (213) 596-9642 if you or a loved one suffered on-the-job injuries and want to seek fair compensation regarding a personal injury. Accidents happen at the workplace all the time; when an employee dies, it is tragic.
Our legal team is here to offer you legal representation and fight for your legal rights regarding work-related injuries and deaths.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.