Nothing is more emotionally devastating than losing a loved one. The pain, grief, and anger is especially overwhelming in situations where the death was preventable, and occurred because of an accident that should never have happened. If you recently lost a spouse or other loved one in a fatal workplace accident, you are probably going through one of the most difficult periods you have ever faced, and are likely to be feeling very lost and overwhelmed. You may feel as though you should take some form of legal action, such as seeking workers’ compensation benefits from your loved one’s employer, but not know how to begin or where to turn.
At the Ramsay Law Firm, we understand the toll that an unexpected death can take on your family. In addition to the profound grief, you may also be struggling with major financial consequences, such as the sudden loss of income, or the medical bills for the care your loved one received. Though they can never return the life that was lost, workers’ compensation benefits may help your family manage expenses and financial losses, so that you do not have to worry about debt in addition to your pain and grief.
Financial struggles are the last thing you should have to cope with in the aftermath of a fatal work accident. Let the compassionate and experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys of the Ramsay Law Firm handle the process of obtaining benefits for you, so that you can focus on your loved ones. We will walk you through every stage of the process, and guard your rights aggressively if your claim is improperly denied. To arrange a free consultation about getting workers’ compensation benefits to help support your family, contact our law offices at (877) 576-5500.
Workers’ Compensation for Death at Work in NC
North Carolina workers’ compensation laws are contained in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act, which requires most businesses to provide coverage for their employees. With a few narrow exceptions for certain occupations, Charlotte workers are generally covered if they worked for a company with at least three employees.
Workers’ compensation is comprised from several different types of benefits, such as disability benefits and disfigurement benefits. In cases where a workplace injury was fatal, the deceased worker’s dependents may have a claim for death benefits. Whole dependents receive priority, followed by partial dependents. Otherwise, if there are no dependents, the deceased worker’s next of kin may have a claim. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand whether you would be able to file a claim, and if so, can guide you through every step of the process.
Death benefits are generally available for up to 500 weeks, or approximately nine and a half years, though it may be possible to continue receiving benefits for a longer period of time, depending on the circumstances. For example, minors are entitled to receive benefits until the 500-week mark is reached, or until they turn 18 years old – whichever occurs first. Therefore, if a child was three years old when his or her parent was killed in a fatal workplace accident, death benefits could continue for a maximum of approximately 782 weeks, or 15 years, at which point the individual would turn 18.
The amount of benefits is generally set at two thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage. The claimant may be entitled to an annual cost-of-living (COLA) allowance. Furthermore, death benefits may include a maximum amount of $10,000 for:
- The accident victim’s medical care costs prior to his or her death, such as treatment in an emergency room.
- The expenses resulting from the accident victim’s funeral and burial.
Though generally paid on a weekly basis, there are cases in which it is possible to arrange for a monthly payment instead.
Charlotte Fatal Workplace Injury Attorneys Can Help You File a Claim for Death Benefits
We understand how hard it is to talk about the death of a spouse or family member. However, delaying for too long could result in the loss of certain rights, which could interfere with your ability to obtain the benefits you deserve. When you feel that you are ready to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for your loved one’s fatal work injury, the Ramsay Law Firm will be there to assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact us at any hour of the day to learn more about how we can help. Our legal team has more than 20 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims, including filing claims, appealing denied claims, and making additional claims.
Our workers’ compensation death benefits attorneys handle claims throughout Charlotte on behalf of deceased part-time and full-time employees. For a free legal consultation concerning death benefits in North Carolina, call the Ramsay Law Firm at (877) 576-5500.