A death claim is a separate and distinct claim from a workers’ compensation accidental injury or occupational disease claim. A death claim can be filed either because a worker died instantly as a result of a work injury, or if an occupational disease or accidental injury later causes death.
A death claim is brought by dependents, those who rely either partially or wholly on the deceased worker for support. If there are no dependents, there are extremely limited benefits that can be collected. On the other hand, even if an injured worker settled an injury or disease claim prior to dying, his or her dependents are not parties to that agreement and can bring a separate claim.