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What Are My Rights if My Family Member Was Killed in a Work Accident?

 Posted on January 06, 2021 in Workers' Compensation

Santa Clara County workers compensation attorney death benefits

Losing a relative in an unexpected work accident is a devastating experience to go through. If your spouse has recently passed away due to injuries he or she sustained on the job, you may still be figuring out what to do next. In the midst of your grief, you may also be trying to determine how you will make ends meet without your loved one’s financial support. In California, if a worker is injured in an on-the-job accident, the worker is typically entitled to financial compensation through workers’ compensation. If an employee is killed in a work accident, the worker’s dependents are usually entitled to compensation called death benefits. However, obtaining the compensation you need and deserve after losing a loved one in a work accident is often more complicated than many expect.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in California

The compensation available can be for family members who were totally or partially financially dependent on the deceased worker. Some individuals are considered total dependents of the deceased worker. Minor children, disabled adult children, and surviving spouses with an annual income under $30,000 are automatically considered totally dependent on the worker. Stepchildren, spouses who make above the income threshold, grandchildren, parents, siblings, and other family members may qualify for death benefits. However, they will need to provide evidence that shows that they were partially or totally dependent on the deceased worker.

Payments to Dependents After a Fatal Work Injury

It is important to note that the amount you may receive in California death benefits is dependent on the relationship you had with the deceased worker and the amount of financial support you were receiving from him or her. Death benefits typically include up to $10,000 for funeral and burial expenses and up to $320,000 for the deceased worker’s dependents. Workers’ compensation benefits paid to any surviving dependents are typically paid in installments at the same rate as the rate for temporary disability. This is usually two-thirds of the worker’s wages.

Unfortunately, mistakes made during the filing process and other problems can obstruct the payment of workers’ compensation death benefits. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help you file for workers’ compensation, negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, and help you appeal a denial.

Contact a San Benito County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If your loved one has passed away due to injuries he or she suffered in a work accident, consult a knowledgeable Hollister workers’ compensation attorney from Cramer & Martinez, LLP. Our team can offer reliable legal support throughout the death benefits claims process. Call our office today at 408-848-1113 to arrange a free, confidential consultation.



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