DEATH BENEFITS PAID IN FULL WITHOUT 100% FAULT/CONTRIBUTION
Unlike most injuries, if an industrial injury, exposure, occurrence or event even partially causes or contributes to an injured worker’s death, the entire applicable death benefit is payable to the deceased employee’s dependents. This also means that these particular death benefits are not reduced even if the injury/industrial cause is an aggravation of an underlying or pre-existing cause or condition. Therefore, it is enough to show that the industrial cause or contribution to the individual’s death aggravated or hastened (sped up) the death.
This is unlike most work-related injuries. For example, if you have a serious back injury, but the medical evidence supports the fact that 50% of that back disability was caused by a previous injury (e.g. car accident) or underlying condition (e.g. degenerations), your disability award will be cut in half (50%).
Keep in mind, however, that the extent of the benefit paid can be affected by other factors, the most common of which is whether you qualify as a total or partial dependent of the deceased employee at the time of the injury. Please see our future blog(s) regarding those concerns. Or, if you would like to speak to someone about your case, without any charge, please call us at (951) 682-6400 for a free consultation.