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Workplace accidents: Car falls from jack, crushes worker to death

Learning that a loved one suffered a fatal on-the-job injury is not something wished on anybody. Workplace accidents happen at any time, and a California family had to deal with such trauma as they greeted the New Year. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, they responded to a Sun Valley business after receiving an emergency call at about 8 a.m. on Dec. 31.

Upon arrival, first responders found a worker who was trapped underneath a car that had fallen off the floor jack on which it was raised. Although the rescue workers managed to extricate the worker from under the vehicle quickly, he had already succumbed to his injuries. The company reported that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health had been informed of the fatality.

Cal/OSHA typically investigates fatal workplace accidents, as they would in this case. Along with determining what caused the vehicle to fall off the jack, investigators will likely also determine the level of compliance with safety regulations at this business. Citations will be issued if they find any safety violations. However, sometimes, when jobs have been done for years without incidents, complacency sets in -- which often leaves safety regulations disregarded.

The surviving family members of victims of fatal workplace accidents are typically entitled to survivor's benefits, regardless of who was at fault. They can file benefits claims with the California workers' compensation insurance program for financial assistance with the costs related to end-of-life arrangements. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help with the claims process in pursuit of a financial package to make up for lost wages.

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