San Jose Work Related Death Lawyer

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San Jose Work-Related Death Lawyer

San Jose Work-Related Death Attorney

Danger and injury can occur in any form of employment. Some workplaces are more hazardous than others, such as construction sites, offshore rigs, and manufacturing industry worksites. Employee injuries happen unfortunately often, and employees sometimes do not survive their injuries. When this happens, family members can secure compensation with the help of a San Jose work-related death lawyer.

Legal Support for Work-Related Deaths in San Jose

At Wiesner English, P.C., our attorneys focus solely on the rights of employees and their families. When workers unfortunately do not survive their injuries, it is a devastating scenario for their loved ones.

In this difficult time, it is not easy for families to navigate a legal claims system. The compensation available from workers’ compensation death benefits is often essential to a family’s financial stability and future, and our attorneys want to help you secure that. We can structure your claim to achieve these benefits. That way, you can receive that needed care while being able to take essential time to grieve.

At our firm, we focus on workers’ rights, and our lawyers provide dedicated and effective legal representation.

Death Benefits in Workers’ Compensation

Death benefits are available to cover the following costs:

  1. Reasonable burial costs
  2. The loss of financial support for those who were dependent on the deceased

Under state law, those who are considered dependent on the deceased include:

  1. Any minor children under their care, whether biological or adopted
  2. Any adult children under their care who are unable to earn a living due to disability
  3. Their surviving spouse who earned $30,000 or less in the 12 months prior to their death

If other individuals wish to claim partial or total dependency, they must prove to the court that they were financially dependent on the deceased.

The Available Compensation in Death Benefit Claims

California law has set values for the benefits available for surviving family members under workers’ compensation. Families can recover reasonable burial costs up to:

  • $5,000 for injuries that were sustained before January 2013
  • $10,000 for injuries sustained during or after January 2013

Additional death benefits rely on the number of partial or total dependents. These benefits are:

  • $250,000 for one total dependent
  • $290,000 for two or more total dependents
  • $320,000 for three or more total dependents
  • $250,000 for one total dependent, plus four times the annual support needed for one or more partial dependents, which cannot exceed $290,000
  • Eight times the annual support needed for one or more partial dependents, which cannot exceed $250,000

These benefits are paid in small weekly amounts until minor dependents turn 18.

Are Death Benefits the Same as Wrongful Death Claims?

The death benefits available through workers’ compensation are different from the compensation that may be available in a wrongful death claim filed through civil court. Death benefits are a fixed value, while a wrongful death claim ranges in value based on the family’s financial losses. This means that wrongful death claims are often much higher in value, as they may cover noneconomic damages that are not available in workers’ compensation claims.

However, wrongful death claims require an individual to be at fault for the death to be successful. In San Jose, California, claims through the workers’ compensation system do not require fault for the family to receive compensation.

There are unique situations where the surviving family of an employee killed on the job can recover compensation from death benefits and a wrongful death claim.


Q: What Is the Workers’ Comp Settlement for Death in California?

A: The amount of death benefits from workers’ compensation depends on the burial costs and the number of people claiming total or partial dependency on the deceased employee’s income. Burial costs must be reasonable costs and cannot exceed $10,000 for injuries sustained after and including January 2013. Support for dependents under workers’ compensation includes:

  • $250,000 for one total dependent
  • $290,000 for two or more total dependents
  • $320,000 for three or more total dependents

There are unique calculations needed for partial dependents.

Q: What Percentage Does a Workers’ Comp Attorney Get in California?

A: A workers’ compensation attorney in California usually charges a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the final settlement. Under this system, if the attorney does not successfully secure a settlement, an injured employee does not owe them attorney’s fees. This percentage typically ranges from 10% to 20%, depending on the complexity of the case and whether it will enter litigation.

Always discuss legal fees with your attorney prior to working with them. At Wiesner English, P.C., we always discuss our percentage contingency fee rate with you upfront.

Q: How Much Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in California?

A: The value of a claim for wrongful death in California relies on the unique losses suffered by a family, including medical costs prior to death, the loss of income, and other damages.

A claim for death benefits through the workers’ compensation system is valued differently. These claims cover reasonable burial expenses up to $5,000 or $10,000, depending on when the injuries were sustained. Death benefits also provide support for total and partial dependents, such as $250,000 for one total dependent.

Q: How Long Do I Have to Sue for Work-Related Injuries in California?

A: If you are filing a workers’ compensation claim, you have to report your injury within 30 days of sustaining it. When the injury is a developmental condition or repetitive injury, you must report the injury as soon as possible after discovering it. If you reported the injury, you have one year from the date of the injury or date of discovery to file a claim.

If you are able to file a personal injury claim for a workplace injury, which may be possible if a third party was responsible, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury.

Advocating for Families in San Jose

Although some work-related wrongful death claims are straightforward, an attorney is a useful ally to ensure that you can get the benefits you need.  There are situations where employers do not have the required insurance, or they may claim that a loved one’s death was not due to their work. A qualified attorney can help you determine if you have the grounds for a wrongful death claim.

At Wiesner English, P.C., we know that no compensation replaces the immense loss you suffered, but we also know the importance of having some financial stability. Contact our team for skilled and compassionate legal support.


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