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Workplace Fatality: Wrongful Death or Workers’ Compensation Case?

Workplace deaths are rare circumstances, but their numbers continue to rise. There were about 5,250 fatal injuries at work in 2018. This is an increase of 2% from the previous year. Most of these deaths involve sales workers and truck drivers, totaling 966 in 2018.

If a loved one dies at work, it should be taken to court, especially if it’s the result of negligence. When you decide to get compensation, Haffner Law can help you through the process. In most personal injury cases, you may have two options: filing a wrongful death lawsuit or getting workers’ compensation or “death benefits.”

Joshua Haffner has worked on multiple personal injury cases, helping clients determine their best options.

Although both provide compensation after the loss of a loved one, certain differences between the two may be more appropriate to your situation.

Workers Compensation Death Benefit

People who depend on the deceased financially may get death benefits from California’s Workers’ Compensation System. This covers work-related injuries or illnesses. Apart from being dependent on the victim to qualify, you must also be related to them as their:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Grandchild
  • Parent and in-law
  • Sibling
  • Niece or Nephew
  • Grandparent
  • Aunt or uncle

You need to prove that you’re totally or partially dependent on the deceased. You need to show that they’ve been providing your living expenses and needs. However, you may immediately qualify if:

  • You’re their spouse who earns $30,000 or less;
  • Their child/nephew or niece/grandson or granddaughter who is under 18, or
  • You’re their adult child who’s unable to work because you’re incapacitated due to a physical or mental illness.

The surviving family may get as much as $320,000 from the state and burial cost coverage from the employer if they have three or more members dependent on the deceased. This amount is paid every week. The claim must be made within a year of your family member’s death.

In contrast to wrongful death, the death benefit from workers compensation doesn’t cover the intangible loss. Pain and suffering, along with the loss of a partner, can be covered under a personal injury lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

You may file wrongful death as a:

  • Surviving partner
  • Child
  • Stepchild
  • Parent
  • A minor dependent on the deceased

You can sue for damages, such as medical bills expenses, funeral and burial expenses, the money your loved one would have earned if they were alive, loss of companionship, and losing financial support.

However, you need to prove the following:

  1. Their death was caused by the company’s negligence or intent to harm
  2. The surviving family is suffering from monetary problems because of the deceased’s passing
  3. There is now a representative for the deceased’s estate

The first two are often a challenge to prove, especially if you’re going against a large company with a team of expert lawyers. As such, it’s important to have a capable Long Beach wrongful death lawyer on your side, too.

Although taking it to court may be lengthy and exhausting, you’ll rest easy after the case, knowing you sought justice for your deceased loved one.

Haffner Law Fights for You

Haffner Law helps you secure just compensation for the wrongful loss of a loved one. Joshua Haffner has worked on multiple personal injury cases, representing Californians who have been victimized by negligence for more than 20 years.

We will have your back.

Contact us at 1-844-HAFFNER or 213-514-5681 today for a free consultation from one of our experienced lawyers.

(This is an attorney advertisement by Joshua Haffner)

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