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The loss of a loved one, whether or not it occurs due to workplace negligence, when it occurs unexpectedly due to workplace negligence, is a profound tragedy that all too frequently unfolds throughout Southern California. Apart from the emotional toll, it places surviving family members in challenging financial situations. Seeking a death claim becomes imperative to recover rightful compensation for such a loss. At the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, our attorneys are familiar with the challenges and obstacles faced by family members during this trying time. While claiming workers’ compensation benefits may not be at the forefront during the grieving process, filing a death claim is essential to safeguard your family's financial well-being. Our death claims lawyers possess extensive experience in filing and handling workers’ compensation death claims. While nothing can replace your loved one, you and your family are entitled to dependent death benefits in the wake of a wrongful death at work.

Calculating Financial Loss

In California, dependent death benefits are determined based on the number of total and partial dependents. This compensation covers funeral costs and burial expenses up to a specified limit. Automatic classification as total dependents applies to certain family members, including children under 18, children unable to earn due to physical or mental limitations, and spouses earning less than $30,000 in the 12 months preceding the death. Minors among dependents may receive additional benefits until they reach 18. Benefit amounts can vary based on the number of dependents and their age and working ability, typically ranging from $250,000 to over $320,000, and sometimes more based on specific circumstances. Insurance companies may attempt to deny entitled benefits, emphasizing the importance of consulting a death claims attorney before entering into agreements with a workers’ compensation insurance company.

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Time Limit to File a Workers Compensation Death Claim in California

Understanding the various timelines for commencing death claims is crucial. General guidelines stipulate that a claim for death benefits or burial expenses must be made within one year of death and within 240 weeks of the date of injury.

Who Can File for Workers Compensation Death Benefits? INJURIES IN ENCINO

Surviving family members partially or wholly dependent on the deceased for financial support may qualify for death benefits. Eligible relatives in this scenario include spouses or domestic partners, children (including stepchildren), grandchildren, parents, siblings, and even aunts, uncles, nephews, or nieces.

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Differentiating Between a Workers Compensation Death Benefits Case and a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A notable distinction exists between a workers’ compensation death benefits case and a wrongful death compensation. California's workers’ compensation system is designed to provide benefits to workers injured or killed on the job and their dependents. However, this system shields employers from lawsuits, even in cases where the employer or a coworker is at fault. Consequently, family members can only recover workers’ compensation death benefits, even if safety standards were violated. Notably, if a workplace death results from a third party's actions (such as a contractor, subcontractor, equipment manufacturer, or regulatory agency), the deceased’s family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the third party rather than the employer. In such cases, proving negligence on the part of the third party may entitle the family to additional compensation, including pain and suffering damages and increased loss of income benefits.

Protecting Your Coverage

In a workers’ compensation death benefits case, accuracy in handling paperwork is paramount. Grieving families should not grapple with complex paperwork only to face claim denials due to administrative errors. The Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach, operating independently since 1978, provide compassionate and sophisticated legal services to families in need. Founder William J. Kropach, a certified workers’ compensation attorney with over 40 years of proven courtroom experience, ensures that cases are handled correctly and efficiently, sparing families unnecessary time, stress, and expenses.

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How Can a Death Claim Attorney Help?

Dealing with the death of a family member is an incredibly challenging situation, and navigating it alone adds complexity. Seeking representation from an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney is the first step toward recovering the benefits you deserve. For over 40 years, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Kropach & Kropach have successfully supported numerous grieving families during this crisis. Our compassionate and comprehensive approach places each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact our death claims attorneys in Encino today and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.