California employers are obligated to provide insurance coverage for their employees that can help pay medical bills and replace wages when workplace accidents result in injuries. When a worker is hurt on the job, the severity of an injury sometimes prevents that person from returning to the workplace for a long time; in worst cases, disability caused by workplace injuries is sometimes permanent, making it impossible to return to employment duties. In situations where construction workers' accidents result in fatalities, benefits are typically transferred to spouses or other immediate family members.
Some construction accidents ultimately lead to civil suits being filed by an immediate family member when a worker has been killed on the job. In fact, a court in Texas recently awarded $53 million in a claim filed on behalf of the mother and two children of a worker who suffered head and torso injuries in a construction accident and died after being taken to the hospital. The tragic accident occurred in 2013.
The man had been working on a skid loader and was apparently ejected from his seat when a huge piece of concrete fell onto the apparatus from above. He fell to the bottom of the stadium from the fourth floor. Several defendants were found liable in the case.
In construction workers' accidents where workers in California are killed on the job, workers' compensation death benefits are intended to provide for the workers' spouses and dependents. However, as seen in the above-mentioned incident, some situations include extenuating circumstances that may be considered grounds for lawsuits. Those facing such legal challenges usually benefit by enlisting the aid of an attorney experienced in litigating these types of claims.
Source: kbtx.com, "$53 million awarded to family of Kyle Field construction worker killed", Steve Fullhart, Feb. 10, 2016