The workers’ compensation laws of North Carolina exist to provide financial security to injured workers while protecting their employers from civil liability for these incidents. The workers’ compensation system functions similarly to most other types of insurance, with a few unique differences. However, it is important to remember that while most workers’ compensation claims pertain to injured workers’ damages, it is also possible for a family to file a claim for death benefits after a loved one dies in a fatal Wilmington, NC workplace injury.
The attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates have years of experience handling all types of workers’ compensation claims for clients in the Wilmington area, including those pertaining to death benefits. Losing a loved one is never easy, and any unexpected death has the potential to generate very complex legal and financial problems for the surviving family. If you lost a family member in a fatal workplace accident, we could help file your claim for death benefits.
Almost every employee in every industry in the state is covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance when workplace injuries occur. When the victim survives their injury, they can typically expect full coverage of their medical expenses and disability benefits that can help them manage the financial strain of their inability to work while they recover. However, if the victim does not survive a workplace injury, their loved ones can still file a workers’ compensation claim on their behalf to seek death benefits.
Death benefits are paid in a similar manner to standard workers’ compensation benefits. The employer’s insurance carrier should pay for any medical expenses incurred for the victim’s final medical treatment, and the family can secure compensation for funeral and burial costs. Beyond these damages, the family is also entitled to ongoing death benefits to reflect the income the deceased is no longer able to earn.
When an injured worker qualifies for disability benefits, they typically receive weekly payments equal to about two-thirds of their average weekly wage. At a minimum, these payments continue for at least 500 weeks. If the deceased had a minor child at the time of their death, benefits would continue until they reach the age of 18. If the deceased has a surviving spouse who is disabled, they can continue receiving benefits until their death or remarriage.
Confronting any legal issues that arise in the aftermath of a family member’s death can be incredibly difficult. However, having legal counsel you can trust on your side can make this much easier to bear. The attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates know how hard it is to lose a family member unexpectedly, and we know the frustrations that can arise when dealing with any sort of insurance-related issues after a loved one’s death.
Our team can provide guidance and support through the entire workers’ compensation claim filing process. We take time to listen to each client’s story and provide them with comprehensive legal advice and handle the complex aspects of their legal proceedings on their behalf. If you have lost a family member in a fatal workplace accident, our team can help you and your loved ones secure the death benefits you are legally entitled to claim under North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
The surviving family of a worker fatally injured at work may receive several types of compensation from the insurance carrier of the victim’s employer. In addition to ongoing death benefits to replace the income the deceased provided, the family also has the right to claim up to $10,000 in funeral expenses.
Death benefits in the state are paid in a similar manner to temporary disability benefits, amounting to roughly two-thirds of the deceased victim’s average weekly wage prior to their death. For example, if the deceased earned about $1,500 per week, their family should receive about $1,000 per week in death benefits to account for this lost income.
If your loved one died in a fatal workplace accident, you typically cannot file a civil suit against their employer if they have workers’ compensation insurance. However, if they do not have insurance, caused your loved one’s death through any intentional action, or a third party caused the death, these factors could form the grounds for a wrongful death suit in addition to your family’s claim for death benefits.
The statute of limitations for filing a claim for death benefits in the state is the same as the statute of limitations for filing any other type of workers’ compensation claim. If your loved one died in any fatal workplace accident, you must file your claim for death benefits within two years of the death. Filing your claim as soon as possible will significantly improve your chances of success with the claim.
Legal counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset for any workers’ compensation claim in Wilmington, especially one in which the victim has died. When you choose Christina Rivenbark & Associates to represent your claim, you will only pay a fee if and when our firm wins compensation on your behalf. This fee will be a percentage of the total compensation we secure for your damages, and you owe nothing if we cannot secure compensation in your case for any reason.
The attorneys at Christina Rivenbark & Associates have extensive experience handling all types of work injury claims for clients in Wilmington, including those pertaining to fatal workplace injuries. If your family is mourning a loved one lost in a fatal workplace accident, we can help secure the death benefits you are legally entitled to claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate Wilmington workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through this difficult process with confidence.