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Workers' compensation and third-party claims may both be viable

Thousands of workers put their lives on the line while they are working in construction zones on the busy California highways. Even though there are safety regulations that govern employers to ensure that workers are not threatened by known hazards, accidents continue to occur in construction zones. While injured workers are covered by the workers' compensation insurance program, many construction zone accidents involve individuals who are not associated with the employer of the injured person, and this may lead to third-party cases.

A 57-year-old worker was recently rushed to the Fort Bragg Coast Hospital after he suffered injuries in a construction zone on Highway 1. The California Highway Patrol reported that a commercial truck pulling two trailers filled with soil to be dropped in the construction area approached at a slow speed. As the dirt from one of the trailers was dumped, the rear trailer was positioned on an uneven surface and shifted toward a worker who was at ground level nearby.

The shifting trailer pushed the worker against a concrete barrier wall causing moderate injuries. After the worker was removed from being trapped against the wall, paramedics arrived to stabilize him, and he was rushed to the hospital. CHP reported that safety equipment was used by the truck driver and the injured worker. It was also determined that neither was affected by alcohol or drugs.

Injured workers in California are entitled to pursue workers' compensation benefits to assist with medical expenses and lost income. If the injuries are caused by a third party such as a subcontractor, the victim may benefit from consulting with an experienced workers' compensation attorney. A lawyer can assess the circumstances and determine whether there may also be a viable third-party claim that may be filed in a civil court at the same time.

Source: lakeconews.com, "REGIONAL: Fort Bragg man injured working on roadway construction project", Elizabeth Larson, Oct.16, 2015

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