Although the workers’ compensation insurance program of the state typically covers injured workers in California, the circumstances of some workplace accidents might provide grounds for civil lawsuits. Filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim could lead to more than the basic compensation typically offered by the workers’ compensation system. An incident that caused the death of a truck driver in another state might lead to such a lawsuit.
Commercial truck drivers are not typically responsible for the repairs and maintenance of their trucks. However, some commercial truck owners require their drivers to assist with repairs. Those who are tasked with maintenance must receive adequate safety training before they are allowed in the service areas. In the case in which the trucker died, he was present while two mechanics attempted to repair or replace a flat inside tire on the rear left side of a truck.
During the repairs project, pressurized air was released when the side wall of the tire burst. It exploded with such force that the driver was launched approximately 12 feet backward, striking his head against the concrete floor where he landed. The driver was rushed to a medical facility, but he succumbed to his injuries and died at the hospital.
If a California family suffers the loss of a loved one in a similar workplace accident, they could consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Legal counsel can explore the actions of other parties, not linked to the same employer, for evidence of negligence. Another aspect to examine is the possibility of gross negligence by the employer. If such third-party claims are viable, the attorney can provide valuable support, guidance and advocacy throughout ensuing legal proceedings.