One often overlooked issue in workers' compensation cases is the amount of interest that an insurance company should pay on benefits awarded following a serious workplace accident. In this respect, the Arizona Supreme Court recently held that an insurance company is on the hook for interest from the moment that an insurance company knows about the workplace accident and the subsequent workers' compensation claim.
The Arizona Supreme Court's holding applies to death benefits, which the Court described as a "liquidated claim," that is, a claim with a readily discernable value. In this case, a man died four years after an on-the-job injury, but his widow alleged that his death was nonetheless at least partially attributable to that injury. The insurance carrier denied the claim in 2009 but, after years of litigation, was told by a court that it had to pay the claim in 2013.