Losing a loved one is extremely hard, but losing them in a work-related incident can be devastating. You need an excellent Sacramento workers’ compensation lawyer to help you with your case. While no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you may be entitled to some compensation to ease the burden. Our Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys have experience handling wrongful death cases. They know to help you through this terrible situation. There are three ways to receive compensation for your loved one’s work-related death. These include filing a wrongful death lawsuit, a serious and willful claim against your employer, or receiving workers’ compensation death benefits. Each path can be complicated, and it’s best to contact a Sacramento workers’ compensation attorney to help you through the legal process and decide which is best for your family.
A family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit when a family member has died due to the fault or negligence of another person. To file a wrongful death lawsuit for a family member’s work-related death, something other than the employer must have caused the death. If you want to file a wrongful death claim outside the workers’ compensation system, you must file it against a third party.
Manufacturers, for example, are obligated to ensure their products are safe. But they failed to test their products, which resulted in someone’s death. If your loved one died from a defective safety railing, the construction company or the manufacturer might be at fault.
In wrongful death lawsuits, families can seek economic and non-economic damages for their loved one’s death. Monetary damages typically include the amount of financial support and the loss of value of household services that the deceased relative would have provided.
To receive non-economic damages, you must prove that your family suffered emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially because of your loved one’s death. That includes your pain and suffering, loss of the deceased’s income and earning capacity, development of mental health issues, and reduced quality of life. Proving non-economic damages can be difficult because there is no standard to prove them, which is why you’ll need the help of an expert.
While you cannot sue your loved one’s employer, you may still be able to receive additional benefits if the death was caused by severe and willful misconduct by the employer or if they violated a Cal/OSHA requirement. The penalty for serious and willful misconduct is generally an additional fifty percent of all the workers’ compensation benefits received by the injured employee, and the penalty comes directly from the employer.
Death benefits are awarded to family members of an employee who died due to a work-related injury. The amount of death benefits you can receive depends on whether you qualify as a total or partial dependent and the amount of support the family member provided you before their death. You must have relied on the deceased employee for approval to be considered a dependent. Typically, total dependents are children of the deceased employee who are under the age of 18. A spouse can be regarded as a full dependent if, in the last year, they earned $30,000 or less.
California workers’ compensation death benefits include up to $10,000 for burial expenses and up to $320,000 in compensation for dependents of the deceased worker.
If there is one total dependent and one or more partial dependents, the total dependent will receive $250,000, and partial dependents will receive up to $25,000. If there are no total dependents but one or more partial dependents, the partial dependents will receive up to $250,000. The amount each partial dependent will receive depends on the deceased employee’s support.
There cannot be any partial dependents if there are two or more total dependents. The two total dependents will each receive $145,000. If there are three or more total dependents, they will evenly split $320,000.
What can you do?
We understand that this process and losing a loved one is not easy. No matter what route you take to receive compensation for your family member’s death, including filing a wrongful death lawsuit, filing a severe and willful claim against their employer, or receiving workers’ compensation death benefits, we are here to help. It can be complicated, so contacting Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys is best. We will help you through every step of the legal and healing process and help you decide which path is best for your family.