When a worker dies as a result of a work-related fatal accident or from work-related causes, he or she may leave behind a family devastated by the loss of their loved one and the financial support that the decedent provided. The worker may have been killed in any type of accident which occurred while performing job duties, such as falling from a scaffold, being killed in a work-related traffic accident, explosion, or fire, or from toxic exposure to chemicals or other harmful substances. Where a worker's death has been work-related, his survivors are eligible for California workers' compensation death benefits.
If the worker's death did not occur from a specific traumatic accident which was witnessed by others, a medical opinion may be required as to the cause. Substantial evidence must confirm that the individual's death occurred due to work-related causes. In the case of a worker fatality, those left behind will be subject to strict time limits in making a claim for death benefits; prompt attention to this often complex matter with the help of an attorney experienced in California workers' compensation law is recommended.
Death benefits will depend on the classification of the worker's occupation and the number and extent of the dependents involved. Benefits generally include funeral expenses up to $5,000 and lost earnings of the decedent paid in financial support to dependents. Generally, there is a maximum amount of financial compensation or period of time in which benefits are paid.
Families facing the loss of a loved one should not suffer the additional hardship of the lost income that the person provided. Death benefits have been enacted to ensure that minor children and spouses have the financial support they need after such a devastating blow. At the Law Offices of Haleh Shekarchian, we understand the difficulties following such a death; our attorney has achieved a very high success rate in favorable case outcomes since 1993 involving injury and death claims for clients throughout Southern California. Our firm knows the California workers' compensation system thoroughly and we will use all of our experience and resources to assist you.