Workers in California and other states put their lives on the line every day. In many cases in which workers lost their lives, the accidents were avoidable because safety regulations were violated that could have prevented the accidents from occurring. However, sometimes the deaths of employees are third-party cases in which parties not connected to the employers of the deceased workers cause the fatalities.
One such accident claimed the lives of two public works employees in another state. It was reported that two workers were depositing trash into the back of a garbage truck on a recent Tuesday morning. An approaching pickup truck reportedly failed to reduce its speed and slammed into the garbage truck, killing both workers. One of them, age 51, had reportedly worked for the department for 16 years, while it was only the fifth day on the job for the other, a 22-year-old man.
Troopers reported that an investigation is ongoing, but the possibility of the driver suffering a mental or medical condition is being checked. This driver was trapped in his vehicle and had to be extricated by emergency workers. He was airlifted to a hospital for treatment of critical injuries.
When California workers are killed in circumstances such as these, the surviving family members are entitled to pursue workers' compensation death benefits to cover end-of-life expenses and lost wages. However, in third-party cases they may want to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can determine whether viable civil claims exist. By filing a wrongful death claim against the third party and any separate owner of the vehicle in a civil court, additional compensation for documented additional losses, such as emotional trauma and loss of companionship, may be sought.
Source: wsmv.com, "2 men killed after vehicle crashes into garbage truck", Kara Apel, Dennis Ferrier, Nov. 10, 2015