Filing A COVID Wrongful Death Claim for an Essential Employee

April 26, 2021

If you or one of your loved ones was an essential worker, contracted COVID-19, and died as a result of COVID, you may be wondering if you can file a wrongful death claim with the help of a San Diego wrongful death attorney. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the basics of COVID wrongful death claims, who can file, how to prove an employer’s liability, possible damages resulting from a claim, and more. Read on to learn more, or contact Laureti & Associates now to schedule a consultation with a lawyer in San Diego. 

Who Is Eligible To File A COVID Wrongful Death Claim?

COVID-19 wrongful death claims are subject to the same California laws as any other type of wrongful death claim:

  • The decedent’s surviving spouse or domestic partner
  • Any surviving children of the decedent, and/or
  • Any surviving grandchildren of any deceased child of the decedent

There are also some circumstances where the parents or siblings of the decedent may file a suit. A San Diego wrongful death attorney can help you determine whether or not you’re eligible to file a suit based on the specifics of the case.

Understanding The Employer’s Duty Of Care

Under the law, employers have a certain “duty of care” to provide their workers with a safe working environment. This extends to:

  • A safe place to work
  • Safe work equipment
  • Work practices that provide a safe environment
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Competent coworkers and colleagues

In other words, employers are required to provide workers with adequate protection against workplace dangers, including COVID-19. 

PPE For Essential Employees During COVID-19 

As part of an employer’s duty of care, they must provide adequate personal protective equipment, or PPE, for essential employees. Depending on the person’s line of work and exposure to COVID-19, this may include masks, gloves, and face shields, among many other types of PPE. 

Understanding CDC/State/County Guidelines

Employers have a duty to operate in accordance with federal, state, and county guidelines related to COVID-19. 

In San Diego, for example, this means that employers must abide by both by California state COVID-19 guidelines, as well as public health orders issued by the city of San Diego.

Proving Liability In A Wrongful Death Claim 

The difficult part of filing a COVID-19 wrongful death claim for an essential employee is proving liability. In California, you  must be able to prove that the death occurred because of another party’s “neglect” or “wrongful act.” In addition, you must have enough appropriate evidence to meet the burden of proof requirements. 

So in order to prove liability in a wrongful death claim, you need to be able to prove that the employer did not properly protect your loved one from COVID-19, and you must have sufficient documentation to back up this claim. 

Possible Damages From A Successful Claim 

Every case is different, but if you hire a San Diego wrongful death attorney and win your claim, you may be eligible for damages including:

  • Medical expenses related to the decedent’s care after contracting COVID-19
  • Lost income and other benefits the deceased may have earned if they had not contracted COVID-19
  • Legal costs related to filing a wrongful death lawsuit
  • Compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased person suffered before their death

Need A San Diego Wrongful Death Attorney? Contact Laureti & Associates Today 

Anthony Laureti and the team at Laureti & Associates are here to fight for you. If you’ve lost a loved one due to COVID-19 and they were an essential worker, and you suspect their employer did not provide adequate protection from the coronavirus, we may be able to help. Contact us now for a consultation.

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