Have you lost a loved one because of an on the job injury? Talk to a workplace death lawyer at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys. You may be entitled to receive benefits and compensation, and our in Wilmington, NC workers’ compensation lawyers can help.
We represent survivors and families when a workplace injury or occupational exposure results in a fatality. Getting the compensation that you deserve can be challenging. We are a professional legal team with proven results.
Contact us today for a consultation with our experienced and understanding team. See how a lawyer can assist you getting workers’ comp death benefits.
How We Can Help After a Workplace Fatality
We know the insurance companies and their playbook. As your representatives, we take on a variety of the following tasks:
- Investigating your rights and options
- Preserving evidence
- Determining who can benefit from a claim
- Filing your claim
- Knowing what compensation you can claim and what amounts
- Responding to ways the insurance company may try to minimize compensation
- Building the case, pursuing hearings and legal procedures to pursue your claim quickly and correctly
By knowing what the insurance companies do to minimize their liability, we can put our knowledge to work for you.
If you’re wondering how a workplace death lawyer in Wilmington can help you, or if you’re ready to begin, contact us now.
Causes of Workplace Deaths
Examples of things that may cause or contribute to a workplace death include:
- Falling objects, slip and falls, falling from an elevated height
- Stuck between accidents
- Malfunction of machinery and power tools
- Contact with a sharp or blunt object
- Being run over
- Workplace violence, assault, and battery
- Electrical accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Chemical and toxic exposure
These causes of workplace accidents may have many underlying factors. For example, an employee may not have been appropriately trained. Maybe the company didn’t provide personal protective equipment. Prior incidents or maintenance issues may not have been addressed. There may be multiple factors that cause a fatality in the workplace.
If the causes and circumstances of the death are unknown, the North Carolina Pickrell presumption applies. The Pickrell presumption is a legal term. It creates a legal presumption that a death on the job is work related if the circumstances are unknown or can’t be fully determined.
Our lawyers can raise the Pickrell presumption if the insurance company questions the cause of death.
Is Wrongful Death Covered by Workers’ Compensation Laws?
Wrongful death is covered by workers’ compensation laws. Surviving family may receive death benefits through the workers’ compensation system.
The case is a workers’ compensation case, but the benefits differ due to the death. Family may also qualify for a personal injury wrongful death claim, but that is a different type of case. A third party must have legal fault for liability for a personal injury claim. Fault is not required for a workers’ compensation fatality case.
Potential benefits when a worker in Wilmington dies on the job
Qualifying family members may receive financial benefits when someone dies on the job. They may receive the following:
- Weekly cash benefits based on the average wage of the deceased employee
- Burial expenses, up to $10,000
Generally, death benefits last for 500 weeks, but there are some important exceptions.
What to know about workplace death compensation in North Carolina
- Minimum and maximum amounts apply to weekly cash benefits
- For dependent children, benefits end when they reach the age of 18. That may mean more than 500 weeks of benefits
- If a dependent spouse has a disability and cannot support themselves, payments continue indefinitely or until remarriage
- You must take action to report the death and claim compensation
- A lawyer can represent you from the very beginning and through all stages of a case
Who May Benefit From a Workers’ Compensation Fatality Claim?
Who benefits from a workers’ compensation fatality claim depends on what family members survive the victim. The surviving spouse and minor children are dependents. They always benefit, and they share the benefits. If there is no spouse, the children receive the benefits. Multiple dependent children split the benefits equally.
Sometimes, the victim doesn’t have anyone who is entirely dependent on them. Then, someone who is partially dependent may receive benefits. They receive a reduced amount based on the level of support the person provided.
Finally, if there are no dependents at any level, next of kin, like non-dependent children, parents, and siblings may receive compensation.
Note: Divorced spouses do not count even if they received alimony or child support. Non-married significant others do not count.
There are some circumstances where benefits may continue if a dependent minor is enrolled in higher education.
It can be hard to know if you qualify to receive benefits. You can contact us for a case review and we would be happy to provide you information based on your personal circumstances.
How Long Do You Have to Start a Claim?
A family member must notify the employer of the workplace death not more than 30 days after it occurs. Of course, the employer may already know about it, but providing formal notice is required.
You will use Form 18 or Form 18B. Submit the form to the North Carolina Industrial Commission and give a copy to the employer.
You should make every effort to meet the deadline. But if you miss it, it still may be possible to bring a claim. Contact us right away.
We Help Families Rebuild After a Workplace Death
The Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys provide legal help after a workplace death in Wilmington, NC.
Wilmington, NC, is a city with a population of 115,000. The greater region of New Hanover and Pender Counties is home to more than 300,000 people.
These residents work in a variety of industries and employment. Top employers include the following sectors:
- Automobile manufacturing
- Pharmaceutical development
- Technology and communication
- Shipping, marine, and seaport activities
Sadly, workplace deaths occur at companies that are both large and small. Your family may be left wondering how to move forward. Our law firm is here to assist and represent you.
Consultations Available – Taking New Cases
Any workplace fatality should start a case process right away. We are accepting client consultations and taking new cases now. You can talk to our lawyers today, and we can start representing you immediately. Contact Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to begin.