North Carolina families suddenly finding themselves without a loved one’s financial support may qualify for death benefits under workers’ comp. A workplace accident or illness that results in a death has devastating effects on an employee’s surviving spouse and children. To help alleviate some of the pain and unexpected hardship, families may file a claim for compensation. 

Because an employer’s workers’ comp insurance carrier covers medical expenses resulting from workplace injuries, an individual may receive weekly benefit checks through the program. In the event that an employee dies from a work-related accident or illness, however, his or her dependents may continue receiving benefits. 

North Carolina fatalities increased by 25% 

According to data from the North Carolina Department of Labor, workplace accidents contributed to 53 fatalities in 2019. This represents an increase of 25% from 2011. Incidents involving falls claimed the largest amount of workplace deaths, as reported by the Triangle Business Journal. 

The troubling issue, as noted by North Carolina’s DOL, is that the use of safety equipment combined with adequate training can prevent most fall-related workplace deaths. Overall, the Tarheel State’s work-related fatalities for 2019 were the decade’s highest. 

Dangerous jobs result in more fatalities 

Construction site employees face the highest risk of falling from heights. While an employer must provide safety harnesses and ladders, catastrophic accidents still occur. The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that about 21 fatalities occur for every 100,000 full-time construction employees. Not only do workers die from falling, tripping or slipping, unavoidable moving objects cause even cautious construction employees to suffer fatal injuries, as reported by CNBC. 

Family members may apply for benefits 

When a work-related death occurs, the employee’s qualified survivors may file a claim to receive benefits for up to 500 weeks. Depending on the number of dependent children who relied on the deceased’s income, the weekly benefit amount may split equally between them. If a spouse is the only surviving family member, he or she may also receive a one-time benefit amount up to $10,000 to cover burial expenses.