Riverside COVID Death at Work Claims Lawyers
Helping California Workers and Their Families Get the Benefits They Are Owed For Coronavirus-Related Deaths in Southern California
The workers’ compensation death benefits lawyers at Ochoa & Calderón are ready to protect your rights after your loved one’s death at the hands of work-related COVID. If your loved one was killed after a workplace COVID-19 exposure, you have the right to collect benefits for medical costs, lost financial support, and other items. Call Ochoa & Calderón today for advice and assistance concerning coronavirus workplace and death benefit claims.
COVID Death and Workers’ Comp
California law grants workers the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits in connection with a work-related injury or illness. Workers are entitled to workers’ comp coverage even if their own negligence caused the workplace injury. If a worker is killed on the job, their family may be entitled to collect workers’ comp death benefits. The same rules apply: So long as the death occurred at work or as a result of work-related activity, the family can collect workers’ comp death benefits.
COVID-19 is covered by workers’ compensation. If a worker contracts the coronavirus at work, their employer is required by law to cover the costs of medical care, lost income during recovery, and other related expenses. COVID-19 has been covered by workers’ comp in California since at least April 2020, when the California Insurance Commissioner issued a Notice reminding employers and insurance companies of their obligations. Coverage is not based on the fault of the employer, coworkers, or any other parties; coverage is guaranteed for anyone who gets sick at work.
If an employee contracts the coronavirus at work and succumbs to the illness, their family is entitled to workers’ comp death benefits. Proving that coverage should apply, however, can be challenging. Employers and insurance companies may try to push back against coverage, arguing the employee got COVID elsewhere. Make sure to work with a seasoned California workers’ compensation attorney to build the strongest claim for coverage after the COVID-related death of your loved one.
Collecting and Maximizing Your Workers’ Comp Death Benefits
Workers’ comp provides death benefits typically equal to two-thirds of the employee’s wages, paid on a weekly basis to eligible dependents. Workers’ comp must also cover reasonable burial expenses up to $10,000. A seasoned workers’ comp attorney can help you recover the maximum workers’ comp death benefits for the maximum possible duration.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Work-Related COVID
When a person contracts an illness at work, they are typically limited to workers’ compensation claims against their employer. If a worker is killed in a work-related incident, including by way of contracting an illness at work, the employee’s family is generally limited to workers’ compensation for death benefits. Workers’ comp law protects employers from legal claims, even if the employer’s own negligence contributed to the death–such as by committing OSHA violations.
There may still be grounds for a civil wrongful death claim, however, depending upon the circumstances. If the death can be connected to the conduct of a third party–a customer, a contractor, an equipment manufacturer, etc.–then the family of the worker can bring a third-party wrongful death claim. Workers’ comp does not prevent a family from bringing a wrongful death claim against parties other than the worker’s employer.
If, for example, a worker was exposed to COVID-19 at work because they were using a faulty face shield, mask, or gloves, the family might have a claim against the manufacturer of the personal protective equipment. So long as the family can demonstrate their loved one died because of someone else’s negligence and that they suffered harm as a result, including the emotional and psychological harm of losing a loved one, they have a wrongful death claim.
If your loved one died because they contracted COVID from you that you contracted at work, you could have a claim against your employer. If your employer committed negligence and exposed you to an unsafe workplace, and that negligence caused the death of your family member (as opposed to you, the employee), then workers’ compensation laws might not prevent you from bringing a claim. It’s a contested issue in the law, with conflicting federal and state court decisions on the matter, so make sure to consult with your personal injury and workers’ comp lawyer about your situation.
Our Riverside Workers’ Comp Lawyers Are Here to Help You Recover the Compensation You Deserve
For help getting benefits after a COVID-19 death or other workplace fatality, call Ochoa & Calderón to discuss your case with a seasoned and effective California workers’ comp lawyer. Call 951-901-4444 in Riverside or 844-401-0750 toll-free throughout Southern California.