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Workers' compensation: Oilfield truck rollover kills driver

Truck operators in the oil and gas industry face many occupational hazards, one of which is fatigue. It might never be known whether fatigue caused a recent fatal crash involving an oilfield bucket truck. The California Highway Patrol reported that this accident happened on Highway 58. A workers' compensation claim will likely be filed by the surviving family members of the young driver who lost his life in this crash. CHP says the accident happened in Kern County.

According to the Kern County Coroner, an 18-year-old truck driver from Bakersfield lost his life on a recent Monday morning. CHP says the oilfield bucket truck was heading west on State Route 58 at about 55 mph when, for reasons not yet determined, the truck veered across the dirt shoulder and into the lanes of eastbound traffic. In an attempt to get back into the westbound lanes, it appears that the trucker overcorrected.

Police say the sudden jerk to the right caused the bucket truck to roll over onto the driver's side. Further reports indicate that the driver's seat belt was not secured, causing him to be ejected as the truck turned onto its side. The driver did not survive the crash.

The California workers' compensation insurance program is a no-fault system, which means that the surviving family members of the deceased worker are likely entitled to death benefits, even if the driver was partly responsible for the accident. They can consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to answer questions about eligibility. A lawyer can then assist with the navigation of the claims process for compensation to cover end-of-life expenses and lost wages.

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