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January 2012 Archives

What happens to the valuable work comp case when the injured worker dies a couple of years after the injury?

What happens to the valuable work comp case when the injured worker dies a couple of years after the injury? I just got off the phone with the family of a worker who passed away a couple of years after being hurt at work. The basic question was whether or not there was still any work comp case to be pursued. As a general rule, the injured worker must be alive to collect future workers compensation benefits. The simple answer is that upon death of an injured worker the future value of the case usually is extinguished... meaning nothing further can be recovered. But this doesn't end the discussion. Questions that need to be asked are whether or not all of the past medical care and past weekly benefits have in fact been paid? We would also want to know if they were paid at the correct weekly rate of compensation. Other questions would involve the circumstances of the injury itself. Sometimes a third-party might have been responsible for the original injury and that case might still be pursued. With the death of the injured person that case may prove difficult, but discussion with a qualified attorney to help analyze these issues is always a good idea. The relationship between a personal injury case and a work comp case is complex and requires careful consideration. Give us a call, the call is free.

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Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.

Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P.
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