Imagine your husband has spent the last 20 years going to his job at California construction sites — day in and day out. He has never suffered a serious injury, not even a scratch. As a painter, the risks of his job are minimal, but at his last construction job, he complained of unusual working conditions that worried you.
Tragically, last week, he went to work and he didn’t come home. An accident happened while he was working on a scaffold, painting a hard-to-reach area. The scaffold was old and rickety, he slipped and his harness failed. The unspeakable event claimed his life and now you, your children, his family and friends will be attending a memorial service in his honor.
Aside from the emotional effects of losing a loved one in an unexpected construction accident, the widows and widowers of deceased construction workers will also suffer financially. Suddenly and without notice, half of one’s family income supply will disappear — and this is not an easy financial setback to overcome without help coming from external sources.
Workers’ compensation may be the answer to the financial woes of spouses in this kind of situation. In the state of California, the spouses of construction workers who died on the job can apply for workers’ compensation death benefits. In addition to workers’ compensation, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the fatal accident, some spouses and close family members may also have the ability to pursue a wrongful death claim against a third party — or in rare cases, against the employer.