Wrongful Death and Fatal Accidents
If you have recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you probably have a lot of questions about the benefits to which your family may be entitled under California workers’ compensation laws, as well as other possible sources of compensation. The compassionate Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys at Howard Law, P.C., can help you understand the possible claims and remedies available under the circumstances, as well as which options might be appropriate to pursue.
Terms like “death benefits” and “wrongful death lawsuit” may be very confusing to people unfamiliar with the legal system. Generally, death benefits are compensation paid by an employer or its insurance company to the spouse, children, or other dependents of a worker who dies as a result of an injury that occurred during the course and scope of their employment. Burial expenses and medical care costs (if the loved one did not die immediately after the accident) are also payable in many cases. The exact amount that a family may be due depends upon the employee’s wages at the time of the accident, the age of their children, and other factors.Other Possible Remedies Available After a Fatal Accident
In most work injury cases, workers’ compensation provides an “exclusive remedy.” This means that the only remedy available to the family of a person killed on the job is workers’ compensation benefits. This is true even if the employer’s negligence clearly caused the accident. However, in some cases, a family may also be able to pursue a separate claim for their loved one’s wrongful death if someone other than the employer or a co-worker caused the accident that led to the worker’s death.
In a limited number of situations, a family may be able to assert a negligence or recklessness claim against a third party through a wrongful death lawsuit. Examples include a car accident in which an employee is killed due to another driver’s breach of the duty to keep a proper lookout while driving or an employee who dies due to a defective piece of equipment that they used on the job. Damages available in a wrongful death action or survival claim (a related third-party claim available in some cases) may include medical and burial costs, loss of income or earning potential, loss of consortium, and other damages. Statutes of limitations and statutes of repose control the time period during which third-party claims may be filed, and it is important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after a fatal accident if you believe that your loved one’s death was caused at least in part by a third party’s failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner.Talk to a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Orange County
The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Howard Law, P.C., can help your family assert your legal rights following the death of a loved one in a work-related accident. In being an advocate in your family’s pursuit of maximum compensation, we can work hard to gather information and evidence that will help support your claim, keep track of all filing deadlines, and represent your family in workers’ compensation hearings or other legal proceedings. Our Orange County workers’ compensation lawyers assist families throughout Southern California, including in Anaheim, Santa Ana, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Long Beach, Pomona, and Riverside, as well as other cities in Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. Call us at (800) 872-5925 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential case.