A previous post on this blog talked about the tragic death of San Diego forklift operator who recently died when he was accidentally crushed by the heavy piece of equipment. The man had decades of experience operating forklifts and was, according to his family, very safety conscious.
Being around heavy machinery is a fact of life for many construction workers and industrial workers, and they should of course try to learn how to remain safe around such equipment. However, ultimately, employers bear the financial and legal responsibility for keeping their workers safe around forklifts and other heavy, dangerous equipment.
When a tragedy strikes, therefore, the first thing a family can do when it comes to getting financial help after the loss of a breadwinner is go their loved one’s employer for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits will be very helpful in covering medical bills, funeral expenses and a sizeable portion of the worker’s lost wages. Our law office can represent families in navigating through this process.
Unfortunately, though, workers’ compensation does not cover all losses.
Therefore, when there has been a fatal equipment accident, the family should ask important questions. For example, they may want to investigate whether the equipment was working properly or whether it had been correctly maintained and serviced.
Sometimes, it may turn out that another party, such as the manufacturer of the equipment, is also legally responsible for the worker’s death. In such circumstances, the family can file a wrongful death action in order to get additional compensation. Our office can also assist with filing this type of lawsuit when doing so is appropriate.