If the cause of the worker’s death is unrelated to the worker’s injury or occupational illness, then the payout is usually small. On the other hand, if the cause of death is related to the employee’s injury or occupational illness, then the payout is 400 to 500 weeks of 2/3rds of the average weekly wage plus burial benefits. For this reason, if there is reasonable argument that the death is related to the injury or job illness, then it makes sense to try to prove that causation did exist.
It is often the case that the death did relate to the injury. Some patients die from an embolism that is directly related to a surgery for their work injury – such as knee or ankle surgery. Embolisms occur in the lungs but they often began in the area that was injured.
Another example is when an employee has a pre-existing condition such as heart disease. If the worker injury aggravated that pre-existing condition/heart disease, then the worker would be entitled to benefits. So, when the employee has a fatal heart attack after leaving work, it is reasonable to argue that the cause of death is related to the work injury.
The Court of Appeals has even said that a suicide which occurred due to the employee being overwhelmed with pain and suffering from a work injury did indeed occur as a result of the work injury and was therefore related and compensable.
Often, our office will work with the worker’s treating doctors to determine if the cause of death was related to the work injury or occupational illness. Also, because causation is an issue, it is advisable to consult with a worker’s compensation lawyer at every stage of the proceeds. The attorney can do the required tasks to detail your injuries and your disability ratings so it’s easier to show causation when the worker does die.
Joe Miller Understands the Medical Requirements and Legal Laws that Determine Causation.
Proving a death is work related or related to an occupational illness directly affects the amount of workers’ compensation benefits, which beneficiaries get the benefits and how much they get. To make sure the right people get all that they should, you need an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. Joe Miller Esq. has helped thousands of personal injury clients for over 25 years. Make an appointment with Joe Miller now by calling 888-694-1671, emailing Joe Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out his online form.