Employees have the right to expect a safe work environment each day when they arrive. Sometimes, that doesn't happen, and injuries occur. A slip and fall may occur, or someone may suffer a significant burn as a result of a lack of equipment. In some situations, the injury is so significant that it leads to the employee's death. Wrongful death in a workers' compensation case may be a bit more complicated. That often means it is best to work with a personal injury attorney who can provide guidance.
What Happens If a Work Injury Leads to a Death?
The death of a loved one is tragic and often involves numerous complications to daily life. There is nothing more painful than losing that person's time with the family and their companionship. Yet, it is also essential to focus on the financial losses this often creates as well.
Under Nebraska law, if a person dies as a result of a workplace injury, the surviving spouse is awarded two-thirds of the employee's salary. This continues until the spouse remarries.
In addition, surviving children also may receive compensation for the loss. Typically, they receive a death benefit. There may also be additional funeral cost benefits provided to families. This is to be no more than $11,000 under Nebraska law.
Who Can File a Claim for Losses Sustained?
When an employee's injuries lead to death, the right to obtaining a recovery of those losses falls to the dependents of that individual. A dependent is typically a widow or widower as well as children.
In some limited situations, a brother, sister, parent, or another individual may file a claim. For these individuals to file a claim, they must show they were a dependent of the deceased party—just having a relationship with them is not enough.
Because these laws are complex and often difficult to navigate, it's best to allow a wrongful death attorney to work closely with you to determine if you have a right to file. If a spouse is divorced or separated from the individual or there are concerns about the legitimacy of children making claims, it's best to have legal advice through this process. If you've lost a loved one, call to verify your status.
What to Do If a Loved One Died in NE After a Work Accident
If your loved one dies due to a workplace accident, the first step is to seek out support from an experienced NE wrongful death attorney. Avoid discussing your case with the employer or agreeing to any financial compensation from the employer until you have an attorney to guide you. You also want to refrain from speaking to any insurance adjuster during this period.
Those who are dependents have up to two years to file such a claim. It's important not to wait, especially if there is any question about your dependency.
How a Nebraska Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Benefits
A workers' compensation attorney can provide one-on-one guidance and support to you after this type of incident occurs. That includes determining what compensation you may be owed. This may include coverage for the loved one's medical bills and other losses.
Your wrongful death attorney will ask you questions and gather evidence in your case to support the best possible outcome. They will also work directly with insurance companies and employers to ensure that there is no risk of improper information being provided or any rushing of your claim occurring. Additionally, should the case have to go to trial, your attorney will help you through the entire process, ensuring you receive compensation for any losses you've incurred due to another person's or company's negligence.
The Law Office of Matthew A. Lathrop, PC, LLC understands just how trying this time is for you. Let us help you with a consultation to discuss your case openly and privately. Call our Omaha wrongful death attorney at 402-281-9668 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation.