Losing a loved one in a workplace accident is something that no family is ever prepared for. The death can have a devastating impact on all who depend on the family member for love, care and financial support.
Most employers in North Carolina have workers’ compensation insurance that provides death benefits if an employee dies from a work-related injury or illness. Death benefits can be a source of valuable financial assistance for families in the midst of tragedy. But understanding how to apply and obtain workers’ compensation benefits can be challenging, especially while you’re trying to cope with such a great loss.
Let a compassionate North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney from Stewart Law Offices help you through this difficult time. Our experienced legal team can help you apply for benefits, handle any appeals and investigate whether any other parties may be held liable for your family member’s death.
Contact our skilled workers’ comp attorneys today for a free consultation.
Is Wrongful Death Covered Under N.C. Workers’ Compensation Laws?
The North Carolina workers’ comp lawyer system provides for death benefits when a work-related injury or disease contributes to a worker’s demise, even if the incident was not the sole cause of death. Death benefits are also available if the job aggravated a previously existing condition and led to death.
Workers’ compensation benefits may even be paid when the cause of the worker’s death is unknown, but still occurred within the scope of employment. This is called the “Pickrell presumption.”
What Benefits Are Available In A Wrongful Death Workers’ Comp Claim?
Benefits in North Carolina amount to two-thirds of what the worker was getting paid weekly when the illness or accident occurred, up to a cap that changes each year. Benefits are paid weekly for 500 weeks, except:
- If benefits go to dependent children, they’re paid until the children turn 18.
- If the deceased’s spouse can’t support themselves due to a disability, then benefits are paid as long as the spouse is alive or until they remarry.
Benefits also cover funeral and burial expenses up to $10,000, even if the person had no dependents or next of kin.
How Long Do I Have To File A Wrongful Death Claim In N.C.?
To file a claim for death benefits under North Carolina’s workers’ comp system, the worker’s wrongful death must have happened no more than six years after their injury or illness or within two years of their final disability determination, whichever is later.
Survivors must inform the worker’s employer within 30 days of his or her death by filing a “Notice of Accident” with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) and sending a copy to the employer. Survivors have two years to file for workers’ comp benefits.
How Can Stewart Law Offices Help Me?
The N.C. workers’ compensation system has specific procedures that must be followed before benefits can be paid. Survivor’s claims are often denied if the appropriate paperwork isn’t filled out correctly or filed on time, which can easily happen when you’re focused on picking up the pieces after your loss. One of the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Stewart Law Offices can take over this process for you so that your claims are prepared properly and submitted on time.
If a family member died while working, you may have the right to death benefits to help in the aftermath of your loss. Call or contact us today to set up a free consultation.