Has Your Family Member Died On The Job?

Law Offices Of Kropach & Kropach

It happened, it really happened. You try to shake yourself hoping it’s a dream but it’s not. You got the call that your loved one has passed away on the job. Emotionally you are torn. The compensation you are entitled to won’t heal you but it will help ease some burden. It’s important to know what the law is in California for a wrongful death claim. In order to file for this you must prove the existence of the following:

  1. Someone has died
  2. The surviving members are suffering financially as a result
  3. The death was caused by negligence or intent to harm (not necessarily death)
  4. The deceased estate has a personal representative appointed

When making this claim you want to make sure that you are allowed to sue. You also need to be informed of the damages available and what you may be entitled to.

Who can sue?

In the case of wrongful death, the law is very specific on who can sue. Typically the spouse, domestic partner, children, or even grandchildren (if the departed children are also deceased) can sue. There are special cases where other parties may also sue. If there is no surviving person in the deceased person’s “line of descent” then others may sue. This includes people who were entitled to the property of the deceased, including parents or siblings. You also may be able to make a claim if you can prove you were financially dependent on the deceased person. This could include the departed’s stepchildren, their parents, or the “putative spouse” and children of the putative spouse.

Damages available

Damages are usually divided into the surviving family members that endured loss or compensating the estate for losses they suffered due to death. There are several losses that are attributed to the surviving family members. This includes the loss of anticipated financial support, the loss of love, affection, moral support, and guidance, as well as the value of the household services. Losses that are associated with the estate include funeral and burial costs, lost income or income that the deceased would have made if he or she didn’t die, and the medical bills associated with the departed’s final injury or illness.

Difference between “Wrongful Death” and “Survival Action”

In the state of California, sometimes wrongful death claims are associated with “survival action”. First, the “wrongful death” lawsuit must take place, then the survival lawsuit allows for their beneficiaries to sue on behalf of the departed estate. A survival lawsuit is complicated but can compensate based on losses for the injury that caused the death, if the injury was for a period of time, and also for claims unrelated to the death that the deceased had a right to sue for as of the date of death. An important difference to note between the two is “survival action” can compensate for punitive damages.

Experiencing the death of a loved one is an insane tragedy. It puts you in an extremely difficult situation not only emotionally, but it can also affect you financially. You don’t have to handle this alone. The Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach have over 40 years of courtroom experience. They are committed to getting you the full workers compensation you deserve for the death of your loved one. Schedule a free initial consultation using the contact form on the bottom of this page or by calling 818-609-7005.

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