According to statistics compiled by the state of California Department of Industrial Relations, 385 workers in our state lost their lives on the job through accidents and homicides in 2013. The largest category was transportation-related fatalities, which accounted for 133 of the deaths. This includes workers who were killed in car, truck, and aircraft accidents or after being struck by vehicles. The remainder of the work-related deaths were due to fires, slips and falls, contact with dangerous equipment, exposure to toxic materials, and homicides. In many cases, workers’ compensation will provide death benefits to the dependent survivors of workers who die as the result of job-related injuries or illnesses. If you’ve lost a loved one who died while working in southern California, speak immediately with an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney for specific advice regarding your personal circumstances.
Death benefits (including burial expenses not exceeding $10,000) are payments to a spouse, children, and other dependents if an employee dies from a work-related injury or illness. The amount of the death benefit depends on the number of total and partial dependents. In the case of dependent minors, death benefits will continue until youngest minor’s 18th birthday. Disabled minors may receive benefits for life. Death benefits are paid at the total temporary disability rate but not less than $224 a week.
However – even if you’re the survivor of an employee covered by workers’ compensation in California – death benefits don’t arrive magically. You’ll need to apply for them. And without representation from a good workers’ comp lawyer, survivors can lose the workers’ compensation benefits they need and deserve. If you or a family you know needs to file for workers’ compensation death benefits in southern California – now or in the future – or if you have any questions about workers’ compensation or about your eligibility for benefits, speak right away with an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney.