WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE NEWS, #11: WILL WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DELIVER FOR THE UPS DRIVERS’ FAMILY?

A horrible accident occurred in San Diego, California.  A UPS Driver was killed when a twin engine aircraft crashed their vehicle.  It appears that a doctor, who owned the plane, may have been piloting the plane on a commute.

Is This a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Assuming that the UPS Driver was “on the clock” and on their route, this accident would be considered a workers’ compensation claim.   As the individual passed, this would be a death claim.

If the driver had dependents, i.e spouse or children, they would be able to receive death benefits.   The amount of death benefit depends on the nature of the dependency.  These factors include both factual and legal issues.  The death benefit amount can vary based upon the number of dependents, the characterization of the dependency, total or partial, and the age of a dependent.

In addition to the death benefit, burial expenses up to $10,000.00, are to be paid.

Is There Any Other Claim?

Yes. It appears that there may be a Third Party Liability Claim.  While an investigation may determine that there are multiple Third Parties, it would appear that the pilot, the doctor, and his estate, may be liable.   This lawsuit could be brought along with the Workers’ Compensation Claim.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN THE NEWS #8: CAN A FIRE CAPTAIN FINGER LIABILITY ON A PROPERTY OWNER FOR A WORK INJURY?

In Los Angeles,  a horrific property fire happened at a Vape Shop which included an explosion. As a result, a number of firefighters sustained injuries trying to put out the fire.  A Fire Captain sustained serious injuries which included the loss of fingers.

It was reported that he is now suing the property owner for negligence.   The allegations of negligence concerned the owner’s storage of both nitrous oxide and butane containers in excess.  Dailymail.com

Was the Fire Captain’s Injuries a Workers’ Compensation Injury?

Yes.  The Fire Captain was in the course and scope of his duties when putting out the fire.  Therefore, he is entitled to pursue a workers’ compensation case.

If the Fire Captain Filed the Civil Suit Against the Property Owner, Can He Still File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Yes.  Many Work Injuries are caused by Third Parties. A Third Party is someone other than the Employer.   Based upon the alleged facts,  the Fire Captain could pursue both a workers’ compensation claim and a civil lawsuit. He did not have to choose between one or the other.

Can an Injured Worker Collect Separately From Both a Workers’ Compensation and a Civil Claim?

Not necessarily.  Many times, the Insurance Company for the Workers’ Compensation will join in the Civil Lawsuit.  This is called subrogation.  They, like the Injured Worker, are entitled to collect a recovery from Third Party that was liable for the work injury.  The division of the proceeds from a Civil Action would be dependent on the facts. For example, if the Workers’ Compensation Insurance paid out a lot of money in medical care, their lien on the Third Party case may be quite substantial.  They would command a considerable amount.

Is There Any Special Benefits a Fire Captain Can Receive from This Work Injury?

Yes.  There are two special benefits.   First, the Fire Captain is entitled to salary continuation for up to one year pursuant to Labor Code Section 4850.  Second, the Fire Captain, due to finger amputations would be entitled 240 weeks of TTD benefits as opposed to the 104 week limitation.  This is per LC 4656.

Why Would the Fire Captain File a Civil Claim?

A Civil Claim provides for different types of damages.  For example, wage loss would be a factor.  In light of the Fire Captain’s loss of fingers, he may have substantial wage loss as his firefighting career may be over.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

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