Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
Attorneys: Gene Riddle and Adam Smith
In North Carolina, when a worker is killed in a workplace accident, his widow and children typically are entitled to receive worker’s compensation death benefits. However, the situation can be very complicated when the worker dies while unmarried. In 2018, we held a full evidentiary hearing before the North Carolina Industrial Commission and successfully obtained a favorable Order & Award in which we successfully proved that a young child was the proper beneficiary of a worker who had been killed on the job.
The child’s birth certificate listed no father, and she did not share his last name. There was no custody order or order for child support. However, we were able to prove, through live testimony of relatives, text messages, social media postings from holidays, and bank records, that the child had been recognized by the deceased worker as his child and that he had often bought her things or given her mother cash. This allowed the minor child and her mother to recover worker’s compensation benefits that will total over $375,000.