CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Worksite Accident Fatality Being Investigated

Worksite Accident Fatality Being Investigated

An accident fatality occurred on June 16 in Galt at a waste recovery system company, according to a representative with Cal/OSHA. The accident happened when one employee hit another as he was backing up a loader. The individual who died was described as a 55-year-old man, but no identification was released. Cal/OSHA is performing an investigation to determine if safety violations occurred that led to the accident fatality. It was reported that the investigation might take six months. I would like to extend my prayers and sympathy to the family of the deceased for their loss.

Liability Is Not Always Limited to Workers’ Comp

Employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event someone is injured or suffers an accident fatality at work. This means that the injured person or their family can file for benefits following an injury or death. By doing this, they lose the right to sue the employer. However, if the injury was caused by an independent third party, the worker can place a claim for damages against that person or entity. For example, in the above accident, if the loader that caused the accident fatality had defective brakes or failed back-up warnings, the family may be entitled to pursue compensation against the manufacturer. If an accident injury to a worker happens while outside the workplace but on company business, the employee may place a claim against the person who caused it.

Recovering Damages in a Wrongful Death

Both economic and noneconomic damages can be claimed after an accident fatality through a lawsuit for a wrongful death. Economic damages include:

  • Recovery of the cost of funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of expected future earnings of the decedent
  • Benefits loss, which can include medical insurance and pension
  • Value of services and goods that would have been provided by the decedent in the future
  • Loss of inheritance since the decedent would no longer contribute to that

Noneconomic damages are those that are intangible but impact the family members. These include:

  • Pain and suffering of the surviving family members
  • Loss of companionship, society, and love
  • Loss of consortium if the decedent was married or had a life partner
  • Loss of the guidance, training, advice, and protection received from the deceased 

Compensation Following an Accident Fatality

After the loss of a loved one caused by an accident fatality, the family can experience financial stress. However, if the death was caused by a negligent individual or entity, they may be able to recover those damages. While it will not lessen the grief, it can help the family get back on their feet and ease the transition. 

Third-Party Injuries or Death

In cases involving an employee hurt by a third party contractor, the attorney can examine the accident to determine liability. For example, the family of an employee who is killed in an elevator malfunction accident at the worksite may have the option of filing a lawsuit. This option may open up if the elevator is serviced by a third-party company. Even though the employee was at work, and his or her family could rely on workers’ compensation benefits, the company that serviced the elevator may be at fault for the death. The family is this situation would benefit from the insight a personal injury lawyer can provide. 

Why It Is Important to Have a Lawyer

When someone is killed in an accident with a worksite vehicle, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A seasoned personal injury lawyer is skilled in how to conduct a wrongful death investigation to hold negligent parties responsible.  Legal representation prevents a commercial vehicle owner or their insurance carrier from minimizing, covering up or in other ways eluding responsibility for the serious injuries or death they may have caused.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento wrongful death lawyer. When you lose a loved one because of negligence by another person or entity, I have free and friendly advice to offer you. Please call me at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 elsewhere in Northern California. I can also be reached through our contact form online and will promptly get back to you.

I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Forum. It accepts membership only from those trial lawyers who have won in excess of $1 million for a client.  In addition, I belong to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. This group is reserved for lawyers who display the highest standards of excellence in their practice of law.

Find out more about my practice by visiting:

Since 1982, I’ve worked hard to obtain compensation for those who have been injured by negligence. My practice includes handling all types of motor vehicle crashes, traumas such as brain injuries and truck accidents.

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/condolences-trauerkarte-letters-3991589/

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