I’m Brian Ricci a Greenville, NC workers’ compensation attorney with over 20 years of experience in North Carolina Workers’ Compensation death claims. When a loved one is involved in a fatal work-related accident, the family, dependent or legal beneficiary of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. There are several different avenues to pursue for a work related death injury claim with various deadlines. Death claims must be filed within 2 years of the date of death. If the injury did not cause immediate death, the employee’s dependents are still entitled to death benefits if the original claim was accepted or found compensable and the injured worker dies within 6 years of the date of injury or 2 years after the final determination of disability. In those cases, the dependents must prove the cause of death is related to the original injury and/or accident. If the cause of death is unrelated to the accident, the employee’s dependents are entitled to any benefits owed but not yet paid. These benefits typically consist of any disability ratings also known as permanent partial impairment (PPI) or permanent partial disability (PPD). These benefits are filed on a Form 26D with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
In order to determine who is entitled to benefits, we must determine whether there are any whole or partial dependents. Presumed dependents include the widow, widower, and children of the deceased. The widow/widower includes the deceased employee’s spouse living with or dependent on support at the time of death. Children must be under 18 years of age and may include children born after the death of the employee; children legally adopted prior to the injury or death and stepchildren or acknowledged illegitimate children.
Partial dependents are only entitled to benefits if there are no whole dependents of the deceased worker. If there are no dependents, then next of kin must be determined by N.C.G.S. 97-40 for a determination of next of kin. Next of kin includes only children, parents, siblings of the deceased worker including adults, but excluding a parent who has willfully abandoned the care and maintenance of his or her child and has not resumed care and maintenance at least one year prior to the first occurring of majority or death. If there are no dependents or next of kin, only burial expense is due.
If you have a family member who died as a result of an on the job injury or later died to the injuries suffered, please contact our office for a free consultation in order determine your rights and what benefits you may be entitled.
Greenville, NC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
I’m Brian Ricci, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Greenville, NC. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury at work, please call me at please call me at (252) 777-2222 or (888) 484-6881 for free, friendly advice.
I am a longtime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are a group of top rated US trial lawyers with multi-million dollar settlements and case verdicts for the injured clients we have served.
Founder of the leading personal injury website: http://www.riccilawnc.com/personal-injury/