Recently, the Press Enterprise reported that a worker died in an accident at Cottonwood Dairy in San Jacinto in Riverside County. According to the report, the worker died after being crushed by large farm equipment while working. Emergency personnel were called to the scene and found the worker “ ‘in full arrest’ a term used when someone’s heart has stopped.” Sadly, the worker could not be resuscitated and died at the scene.
Losing a loved one while they are working is extremely difficult. Families who have lost loved ones not only have to suffer emotionally from the loss of their loved one, but also often face serious worries about their financial situation because they no longer have the income provided by that family member. Worries about finances can make the loss even harder to bear. If you have lost a loved one while they were on the job, it is important to know that you deserve to be compensated for your loss and financial recovery may be available in your situation. It is a good idea to contact a skilled San Jacinto wrongful death attorney who can talk to you about available options.
When a loved one is involved in a fatal accident while working, you and your family may be entitled to workers’ compensation under California workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation is specifically for workplace accidents that result in injuries or death. The employer pays “death benefits” to dependents, such as the spouse and children. How much a family receives depends on several factors including the worker’s wage at the time of the accident, size of the family, and age of the children.
The purpose of workers’ compensation is to prevent a company from being sued—workers’ compensation is the remedy and the company cannot be sued even if the accident was a result of their negligence.
Riverside Wrongful Death Claims
In some situations, a family can still bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of their lost loved one in addition to a workers’ comp claim. This is possible when the accident was caused by a third party, or someone other than the company. For example, in the case of this dairy accident, the family of the worker may have a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer of the machinery if the machinery’s malfunction is what caused the accident. In this situation, the wrongful death claim would not be against the employer, but rather the third party—the machinery manufacturer.
If the worker was killed due to faulty machinery, the family could bring a wrongful death claim and receive financial compensation for their damages, or losses. This includes compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and loss of earning potential, as well as other damages permitted under the law.
Talk to an Experienced Riverside Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost a loved one while they were on the job, reach out to the knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Walch Law. We have years of experience representing families in Riverside County and throughout Southern California who have lost loved ones and understand the intricacies of workers’ compensation and third-party wrongful death claims. Call us today at 866-465-8792 for a FREE consultation so you can see what options you have for recovery for your family!