There are times when a lawsuit is dismissed when the “suer” dies. Yet some “survival actions” can be taken even after the plaintiff’s death as long as the claim was filed before the victim died. These types of claims have nothing to do with wrongful death actions. Ask an Los Angeles workers compensation attorney about your options.
When an employer takes an adverse action against an employee for engaging in a protected activity, this constitutes retaliation. If the employee files a workers’ comp claim for injuries sustained at work, and he or she is fired as a result, this also constitutes a protected activity under some specific retaliation laws.
The basics of survival
If an employee dies after filing a workers’ comp claim, the surviving spouse or any other qualifying survivor can continue prosecuting the claim as long as the degree of disability was determined and the claim was filed prior to death.
Survival actions versus wrongful death
Survival actions have nothing to do with wrongful death actions. In fact, they are quite different. Death claims compensate the deceased’s family for the consequences of the death while survival actions are mostly based on the injuries the deceased had suffered, which are not related to the death.
Damages awarded in each category are also different. Under survival actions, damages related to the victim’s pain and suffering as well as economic losses are awarded. Under death claims, the damages are more punitive as they compensate for the financial burdens caused to the deceased’s family. Also, damages from survival actions is awarded and distributed among qualifying family members under state laws related to wills and inheritances. In death claims, damages are awarded to qualifying family members who started the lawsuit.
Workers’ comp generally pays a portion of the burial expenses. However, the compensation amount is limited. Medical bills are also covered, as long as they are related to treatment and medical care your loved one received for a work-related injured. These bills are generally reviewed by the employer to make sure they are related to treatment for injuries sustained at work. Workers’ comp benefits should be available after a loved one’s death. However, if the claimant remarries, he or she may not continue to receive them.
Not all employers are covered by workers’ comp. If you are a survivor that wishes to claim these benefits and the deceased was not covered by workers’ comp, you will not qualify to receive them. However, in cases involving a party responsible for the death of your loved one, the survivor can file a personal injury claim.
Consulting an attorney
It’s important you discuss your claim with an experienced Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney. If you have any questions about your specific situation, call us today and schedule your initial case evaluation.