Death Claims in NC Workers’ Compensation
These types of claims are often the most tragic and difficult ones to bring. Not only are you dealing with the loss of a loved one but also an employer who may or may not want to offer compensation for an employee's passing. The following guide addresses some of these issues.
What Types of Death Claims are Compensable?The estate of the claimant must prove that an employee*s death was related to an injury by accident or occupational disease that is covered by the NC Workers* Compensation Act. These benefits may even include an injury or disease that significantly contributed to the employee's death, or when the injury or disease accelerates or aggravates a previously existing condition which then causes the death.
When Do These Claims Apply?In NC Workers' Compensation case, the death must occur within either six years from the date of an injury by accident or onset of the occupational disease, or two years from the date of the settlement agreement or NCIC's approval of the employee's disability rating.
Are My Heirs Entitled to the Benefits?Yes, but this is where it gets a little tricky. If all your heirs are wholly dependent on the employee's income then they share equally but where only one heir is wholly dependent then that person takes all the benefits. These benefits can be paid up to 500 weeks except when it involves minor children under the age of 18 and spouses who are disabled. In those instances, payments can exceed 500 weeks depending on the circumstances. Additionally, if it is determined that there is a compensable claim for death benefits, burial expenses for the employee can be paid up to $10,000.00.
What's Next?If your loved one died as a result of a workplace accident or occupational disease then it*s important to hire a workers* compensation lawyer to handle your case. A qualified workers* comp attorney knows how to represent your in these delicate matters, gather necessary evidence and get you the compensation you deserve.