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Recent court decision highlights scope of workers’ compensation

Most people associate workers’ compensation benefits with injuries suffered in a workplace accident. Fewer people might associate a claim under the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act with compensation for being wrongfully convicted in a criminal case, but that issue was recently in front of the Court of Appeals.

As it turns out, a provision of the state’s workers’ compensation law allows a person whose felony conviction is overturned to file a claim. In the case that went to the state appellate court, the individuals were pardoned by the governor after their convictions were overturned on appeal. 

The appeal had to do with the issue of the entitlement to compensation of individuals who are pardoned after they have died. The court concluded that the wording of the statute did not allow them to collect.

Normally, workers’ compensation benefits play a vital role in assisting injured workers to recover after a workplace accident and return to work. Lost wages, rehabilitation costs and medical expenses are some of the benefits paid to a person with a work-related injury or occupational disease to help in the recovery and healing process.

When a workplace accident causes a fatal head injury or crush injury, the family of the deceased work might be entitled to benefits. The types and amount of benefits paid for death claims is determined by the provisions of the state law.

The case of the individuals seeking compensation for their wrongful incarceration illustrates the complexities of the workers’ compensation law. Obtaining the compensation you deserve and the medical care to which you are entitled after being injured on the job may be helped by a Charlotte workers’ compensation attorney.


Source: WECT, “NC court denies money for family of late Wilmington 10 members,” Aug 4, 2015

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