Padilla Law Group, LLP

Workers' compensation death benefits in California

An accident in the workplace can wreak havoc on an individual's life. It might leave him or her with serious injuries that require extensive medical care, and it may knock him or her out of work, thereby affecting one's income. Those individuals who are seriously injured may wind up with a permanent disability, which can directly impact their quality of life for years or decades. Yet, these damages, while quite severe, are nothing compared to the loss felt by those who lose a loved one in an on-the-job accident.

Sure, surviving family members may wind up with medical expenses and lost wages on account of their lost loved one, but the emotional toll can be quite extensive, too. These family members will never again hear their loved one laugh, spend holidays and family milestones together, and children may be left without their parents. Although money cannot bring a loved one back, it can help a family find the financial stability it needs to focus on moving past the incident and finding closure.

When a death occurs in the workplace, workers' compensation death benefits may be available to the surviving family. If a death can be shown to have occurred in a work-related accident, then a family may be able to recover money for burial expenses and lost wages. The exact amount awarded depends on a number of factors, but most importantly the number of dependents left behind. For example, those families with one dependent may be able to recover $250,000 plus $10,000 in burial expenses, while those with three or more dependents may be able to recover $320,000 plus $10,000 in burial expenses.

Of course, recovering these benefits isn't always easy. Insurance companies may try to claim that the accident wasn't work-related, or the death benefits may not be enough to cover the full extent of a family's loss. In these circumstances, it might be wise to speak with a qualified legal professional to determine if additional legal action is justified.

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