Construction Company Sued After Officer Dies On-Duty
A construction company has been sued after a 7,000 lb metal beam struck an unmarked police vehicle and killed its driver. According to the complaint, the beam was suspended over the southbound lanes of I-95. It was then struck by a tractor-trailer which caused the beam to fall striking the plaintiff’s vehicle. He was killed instantly. His family has since filed a lawsuit against the construction company responsible for the beam and the owner of the tractor-trailer that struck the beam. The owner of the truck was also faulted for driving with an oversized load. The officer was a 20-year veteran of the force.
Analyzing the complaint
In cases like this where an officer dies on the job, there will always be a question as to who pays his family. Officers have great insurance packages and their employers tend to have top-quality workers’ compensation insurance. So, when they are injured on the job, it’s usually the workers’ compensation insurance that pays the family. However, workers’ compensation insurance may stop you from suing your employer, but it doesn’t stop you from suing anyone else, even if the workers’ compensation policy has already paid out. That means an officer who is injured on the job can both collect the workers’ compensation policy and file a lawsuit. The workers’ compensation insurer can file a subrogation claim if the worker wins their personal injury lawsuit.
In this case, the officer’s family likely received death benefits from the workers’ compensation insurer, but the family will go after the negligent companies that contributed to the officer’s death. In these cases, a family can recover a lot more money from a personal injury lawsuit than they would from a death benefits claim. The workers’ compensation insurer will file a claim against the personal injury judgment if the plaintiffs win. In the meantime, they can collect death benefits while their lawsuit is being litigated.
Are these companies responsible for his death?
They are. In some cases, a company can claim that they followed all the rules and met all of the regulations. In these cases, they can still be held liable if they injure someone else. This case offers the plaintiff several avenues to claim negligence. So, the defendants cannot claim they met or exceeded regulations. They didn’t. They failed to account for the oversized load and then created a dangerous condition that caused a beam to drop. There isn’t a lot you can say about that. These companies will pay for this officer’s death. They may also be cited for workplace safety violations. It could impact their ability to secure future contracts with the government.
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Payer Law represents the interests of Miami residents who have been injured in construction accidents. Call our Miami personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.