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Death Benefits

California law provides benefits to dependents of workers whose death is causally related to their work or a work injury. Strict time limits apply, so promptly call a lawyer to determine if you have a valid claim.

Unless the death was obviously a work injury (e.g., witnesses saw a wall collapse on the worker, who never regained consciousness and was declared dead at the job site), a medical opinion on causation is required. The opinion must be "substantial evidence" and meet the requirements of the Labor Code for admissible medical evidence.

For relevant Labor Code sections concerning death benefits, go here. Dependency issues can be complicated. There may be children from former marriages or relationships, step-children living in the deceased worker's household, elderly parents, and so on. For an interesting decision on a common domestic situation, read this case. It is important to consult a lawyer experienced in death cases to avoid costly mistakes.

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