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My Husband Died on the Job: Can Workers’ Compensation Help Me?

When most people go to work, they assume that they will remain safe during the workday. Although there are certainly dangerous occupations, most jobs have safety protocols and requirements. These help employees maintain their health, happiness, and ability to return to their families every night.

Unfortunately, these systems are not perfect, and sometimes workplace injuries occur. In particularly devastating situations, an individual may die from a workplace injury.

If you are the family member of someone who died on the job, you likely have a lot of questions, concerns, and emotions surrounding the situation. While you are grieving, you may also be wondering how you will pay bills, care for your family, and continue to live without your loved one.

Although there is no way to undo the tremendous pain that you are experiencing, it may be helpful to know that you have options for financial support. Money cannot replace your loved one. However, it can help you pay bills and remain financially stable while you mourn your loved one’s passing.

My Husband Died on the Job: Can Workers' Compensation Help Me?

Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Death

When most people think about workers’ compensation, they think of workplace injuries. Although this is certainly the bulk of these cases, workers’ compensation may also cover employee accidents in which the victim does not survive. In other words, the family of a worker who perished from a workplace injury may file a workers’ compensation claim.

If the insurance company approves your death claim, workers’ compensation will pay 75% of the deceased’s weekly income to the family. For example, if your loved one made $1,000 per week, you will likely receive $750 per week from workers’ compensation. These payments must last a minimum of 500 weeks in North Carolina, meaning that you will continue to receive support for at least 9 years after the passing of your loved one.

Workers’ compensation also helps you pay for the funeral and burial expenses for your loved one, up to $10,000. This support can be extremely helpful, as end-of-life ceremonies are often expensive, and many people are not prepared for this expense when their loved one dies suddenly. This support can help the family focus on their grief and allow them to process the situation without worrying about how they will pay for the funeral and burial.

Death Claim Beneficiaries

One of the most complicated aspects of workers’ compensation death payments is determining who gets the money. The law states that the benefits should be split between individuals who are “wholly dependent” on the deceased. The law determines this dependency based on the individual’s proximity to the deceased. For example, the spouse and minor children of the deceased are considered “wholly dependent” in most cases. If there are people who are partially dependent on the deceased, or if there are no individuals who are wholly dependent on the deceased, the process becomes increasingly complicated.

Protecting Your Family

A workplace accident is a complicated situation, and there are people who may aim to take advantage of your position. Insurance companies will still try to avoid paying, even when there are mourning family members making claims. Unfortunately, honesty is not guaranteed in these situations.

The best thing you can do to protect your family is to hire a workers’ compensation attorney who has experience with wrongful death cases. We can help to make sure that your claim gets approved and that you receive the support that you need during this painful time. We can also work to determine who should receive payments and resolve any conflicts that may arise in the claims process.

FAQs

Q: What Happens If Your Spouse Dies at Work?

A: In most cases, you will be able to file a workers’ compensation claim if your spouse dies because of a workplace accident. These benefits should pay approximately 75% of your spouse’s weekly income as well as up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses. However, if your spouse died of a medical condition while on the job, you may not be eligible for these payments. Workers’ compensation applies if the job or a workplace accident caused their death.

Q: How Much Does Workers’ Comp Pay for Death?

A: Workers’ compensation usually pays 75% of the deceased’s weekly income as well as up to $10,000 in funeral and burial expenses. The weekly payments should continue for at least 500 weeks and will be split between any individuals who were “wholly dependent” on the deceased. This usually means the spouse and minor children will receive compensation.

Q: What Are Employee Death Benefits?

A: Employee death benefits are payments from workers’ compensation insurance that help a family support themselves after a loved one dies at work. These payments last for at least 500 weeks and are 75% of the deceased’s average weekly income. Although families may not be able to sue the employer if they receive death benefits, they may be able to press charges against a third party who was directly involved in their loved one’s death, resulting in further financial support.

Q: How Much Can You Claim for Death at Work?

A: If your loved one dies because of a workplace injury, you can receive 75% of their average weekly income as well as $10,000 for funeral and burial expenses. The weekly payments last for at least 500 weeks. For example, if 75% of your spouse’s average weekly income is $1,000, and you get it for 500 weeks, you will end up getting $500,000 over the course of that period, plus $10,000 for funeral and burial expenses.

Contact Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler

If you are facing a wrongful death claim after a workplace accident, it is imperative that you have an attorney on your side. These cases are often emotional, and it can be difficult to argue your case while mourning a loved one. To receive the best possible support from workers’ compensation insurance, you need an attorney from Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler. We can deal with the insurance companies and fight for the compensation you need, giving you time to grieve for your loss.

For more information, contact the expert attorneys at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler today.