A workmans comp lawyer Los Angeles based firm can help you determine what, exactly, you will receive in the case of injury or death on the job. Workers compensation is designed to prevent employer liability for job-related deaths or injuries. Even if the employer was negligent or violated OSHA-enforced rules, the law is designed to keep him or her from getting sued.
Using a Workmans Comp Lawyer Los Angeles Based Firm to Sue for Wrongful Death
If your loved one died in the workplace because of a third party’s negligence, you can ask a workmans comp lawyer Los Angeles based firm to sue for wrongful death. A third party may include any of the following:
- A general contractor or subcontractor
- A vendor
- An on-site visitor
Family members of the deceased employee, by law, are entitled to sue for damages associated with wrongful death if a third-party was directly or indirectly involved in the mishap.
One exception to this rule involves the negligence of a co-worker who killed a worker when operating a car or truck.
Therefore, contacting a workmans comp lawyer Los Angeles based firm to file for wrongful death must be based on a third-party’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker while driving a motor vehicle.
Proving Your Negligence Case for Wrongful Death
Again, to file the lawsuit, a family member must show that the death of a loved one happened from negligence. As a result, the decedent’s family lost income, reduced their quality of life, and experienced pain and suffering. Wrongful death claims cover intangible losses – something that is not included in workers comp claims.
Therefore, it’s important to recognize the differences between workers compensation and wrongful death lawsuits. With respect to worker’s compensation, California operates under a no-fault system.
This means that collecting benefits is much easier. Many times, you only need to file a claim. A no-fault system also means family members give up their right to sue their family member’s employer. The no-fault law does not allow the survivors to recoup money for intangible losses, such as the loss of partnership or quality of life.
That is why family members ultimately receive more money when filing a wrongful death lawsuit and hire a workmans comp lawyer firm to discuss their case.
How Workers Comp Death Benefits are Calculated
Workers comp death benefits are figured on the earnings of the deceased. The law requires the insurance to pay burial expenses and the medical cost incurred before a worker’s death. In California, workers’ compensation death benefits are disbursed (as of March 2022), as follows:
- Up to $10,000 for burial costs; and
- Up to $320,000 to the worker’s dependents
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, one total dependent may receive $250,000. The money received depends on whether the dependents are partial or full dependents and what the law says about allocating the money.
For example, if one total dependent and two partial dependents receives death benefits, they must be disbursed so the total dependent receives $250,000 and each of the partial dependents receives up to $25,000 each.
As the name suggests, total dependents are family members who were dependent on the deceased totally for financial support and their love and care while partial dependents were partly dependent.
Figuring the benefits is complex. Calculating the benefits depends on the extent a family member or dependent counted on the deceased worker financially and what the decedent earned. The comp benefit pays reasonable burial costs and the medical costs that preceded the worker’s death.
Death benefits may be paid to a surviving spouse until they remarry and children can receive benefits until they turn 18. Again, surviving family members frequently can recover more money by discussing their situation with a workmans comp lawyer and filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Benefits
Benefits for wrongful death may include:
- Burial and funeral costs
- The loss of wages, which would have been earned until the decedent retired
- Medical costs and death-related costs incurred from the date of the negligent act until the decedent’s death
- The loss of help, care, and similar benefits given by the deceased
- Compensation for emotional distress or pain and suffering
As you can see, filing a wrongful death claim allows family members to receive more in the way of compensation than what they’ll receive solely through workers compensation. Contacting a workmans comp lawyer Los Angeles firm can give you a clearer picture of the differences in compensation.
The main benefit of filing death benefits in a workman’s comp case is the ease in which it is done. You don’t have to prove anything. You only need to file a claim.
However, when you file the claim, you lose your right to sue your family member’s employer for damages. You will not receive compensation for an intangible loss, such as a reduction in your quality of life or the loss of your life partner.
The filing of a wrongful death claim, again, enables you to sue for more money. In these legal suits, the claimant may also receive punitive damages, which may prevent any future employer misconduct. The law has not set limits set for these damages, so you can earn a far larger settlement.. While wrongful death lawsuits take longer to process, claimants often feel it is worth the wait.
Before you file a workmans comp death benefit claim, talk to a workmans comp lawyer Los Angeles firm about filing a suit for wrongful death. As long as you can prove negligence, you can go forward with the process.
Proving Negligence for Wrongful Death
To prove negligence in this case, you must prove the defendant was the cause of the mishap and that he or she knew about or was aware of a present danger but did nothing to resolve the situation. Because of this breach, the decedent was injured and eventually died from their injuries.
The California Courts give wrongful death cases a 2 year statute of limitations. The state’s Code of Civil Procedure section, 335.1 states that a defendant that hurts a person is liable for the action if it falls under a personal injury accident, a wrongful act, wrongful death, assault, battery or the negligent or intentional infliction of pain and suffering.
Schedule a Legal Appointment Now
You can’t waste any time in filing a wrongful death lawsuit with a workmans comp lawyer Los Angeles firm. To begin the process, contact Workers Comp Attorney LA today. You can schedule a free consultation anytime by calling 213-214-2969.