Late in the morning on Tuesday last week, a deadly accident took place on an Ohio construction worksite. A semi-truck struck three Ohio Turnpike Commission maintenance workers, severely injuring two and killing another. The driver of the truck was also severely injured. The workers were reportedly outside their maintenance vehicles at the time of the accident.
Workplace accidents can be a threat in workplaces where appropriate safety procedures and regulations are not followed. In the accident involving the turnpike workers, an added threat of danger may exist, as the construction site is in close proximity to speeding traffic. This is a danger that the workers and their employer were probably aware of.
It is not yet known whether the driver, the logistics of the worksite or the workers themselves were contributing factors in this tragic accident. At the time of the news report, no charges had been filed in connection with the accident.
In Ohio, even if an action by an employee leads to the accident, he or she has a right to recover full damages for a work-related injury under workers’ compensation laws.
It is very difficult to think about legal or financial issues after losing a loved one, but when a person dies on the job in Ohio, his or her immediate family may also be entitled to two types of compensation. The first type is through the workers’ compensation system which provides benefits for lost wages and other losses and expenses associated with the death of a loved one.
The second type is through wrongful death litigation, which is applicable only when the death was caused by negligent, reckless or intentional acts of another party. Wrongful death litigation for a construction accident typically provides compensation for funeral costs, lost wages, and other associated financial losses. In certain cases, juries may call for additional punitive damages.
Source: 13abc.com, “Fatal work zone accident on turnpike near Fremont,” Jan. 24, 2012