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Workplace accidents impact county employees in California

In California, most public works departments are proud of their safety records-- even those whose jobs are inherently dangerous. That is why the recent tragic death of a county employee sent shock waves through the department and stirred investigations in three separate agencies to know the cause. In addition to the questions workplace accidents may raise for fellow employees, the families of the victims of these accidents may be left with questions of their own.

The 58-year-old employee on his way home from one job site stopped at another to double-check that the contractor had correctly placed survey markers which were necessary for mapping county land borders. The worker was in the eastbound lane on his hands and knees when a pickup truck approached. Although the driver applied the brakes, he was not able to stop in time and struck the worker. The county employee died at the scene. A spokesperson said the employee had properly placed safety cones, and motorists should have seen him.

When a county employee is killed on the job, a number of separate investigations are automatically set in motion. This accident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, and the county's risk management division. The results of these probes may take up to two months to complete.

While they wait, the family mourns the loss of a man known for his infectious laugh and pleasant personality. They may also struggle to figure out how to meet sudden and unexpected financial burdens, such as funeral expenses. While worker's compensation insurance may help, they may also wish to contact an attorney to discuss a possible third-party case. An attorney with experience in workplace accidents will review the evidence and pursue all possibilities for compensation.

Source: modbee.com, "Fatal incident underscores roadway dangers for Stanislaus workers", Ken Carlson, July 9, 2016

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