Riverside Fatal Work Accident Claim Lawyer
The loss of a loved one is always devastating. When the deceased person was also the primary income-earning member of the family, resulting financial difficulties can become an insult added to the injury. If your family member was killed on the job, however, your family is entitled to death benefits. A seasoned and compassionate fatal work accident attorney at Ochoa & Calderón can help you file for the death benefits you are owed. We work to maximize your benefits and ensure that you and your family are well cared for after the death of your loved one.
Compensation Available After a Fatal Workplace Accident
When a worker loses their life while on the job, surviving dependents are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage. This coverage is known as “death benefits.” Death benefits are available for the deceased worker’s spouse, children, and other dependents who relied on the decedent for financial support. Other qualifying relatives might include parents, siblings (including in-laws), grandkids, and nieces and nephews. Children under age 18, adult children with a physical or mental incapacity, and surviving spouses who earn less than $30,000 a year are automatically considered total dependents of the employee.
The amount of death benefits available is based on the number of dependents. In California, as of 2013, the death benefits are as follows:
- $250,000 for one dependent
- $290,000 for two dependents
- $320,000 for three or more total dependents
- Plus $10,000 for burial expenses
There are variations depending on whether the dependents are total or partial. Benefits are typically paid in installments but will be at least a couple hundred dollars a week. A savvy California death benefits attorney can help you obtain the maximum available total and weekly benefits.
Wrongful Death Claims After a Workplace Accident
California’s workers’ compensation system is meant to be the exclusive remedy for employees after workplace accidents. When someone is injured or killed at work, they are typically limited to workers’ comp claims. As discussed, however, workers’ comp claims are limited to certain types of compensation as well as caps on the total benefits available. Under certain circumstances, however, the family of a worker killed on the job may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against a negligent party.
Wrongful death claims may be available when the negligent conduct of someone other than the employer or a co-worker contributed to the workers’ death. For example, if the worker was killed by a non-coworker driver in a traffic accident, the family may have a claim against the negligent driver. If the death was caused by defective factory equipment, or negligent conduct by third-party contractors, likewise, there may be a wrongful death claim.
In a wrongful death claim, the estate or a qualifying family member can seek additional damages beyond those available in a workers’ comp claim, including:
- Medical costs and burial expenses
- Lost income, loss of future income, and loss of potential inheritance
- Loss of household contributions such as advice, support, and training
- Loss of love, companionship, affection, and other emotional harms
Talk to your California fatal workplace accident attorney about your family member’s fatal accident to find out if you might have a third-party liability claim for wrongful death.
Our Riverside Fatal Work Accident Lawyers Are Standing By to Help You Recover the Benefits You Are Owed
For help getting benefits after a deadly on-the-job injury or illness, 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.