A tragic accident in the San Francisco Bay area led to the death of two BART workers. The workers, both engineers experienced in their fields, were inspecting a track along the BART line at the time of the accident. Standard procedure requires one worker serve as a lookout, watching for oncoming train traffic, while the other inspects the track for any reported problems. In this instance the workers were called out to inspect a reported dip. It is unclear if standard procedure was followed, since the accident occurred during a walkout.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the accident. The agency believes neither worker was serving as a lookout when the train approached. It also appears that a horn sounded and emergency brakes were applied before the train struck the workers, which resulted in fatal injuries to both employees. NTSB has possession of all image recordings of the accident, according to a report by KGOTV, an ABC affiliate out of San Francisco. The investigation will continue in Washington and will likely span a number of months before concluded.
California workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers
Although a resolution for the BART accident will not be reached for a number of months, those involved in similar workplace accidents may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ of every profession can experience injuries while on the job, including airline workers, factory workers, construction workers and office workers.
If injured while on the job, compensation may be available to help cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses, as well as missed wages. According to the State of California’s Department of Industrial Relations, workers’ compensation in California is designed to provide five main benefits: medical care, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, supplemental job displacement benefits and death benefits.
Workers who are injured on the job should receive treatment immediately if in an emergency situation. Once treated, report the injury or illness to the employer. Report the injury in a timely manner to help reduce the risk of delays in payment or coverage. In some cases, too long of a delay can result in an ineligibility to receive any coverage.
If you or a loved one was injured while on the job, compensation may be available through workers’ comp benefits. Contact an experienced California workers’ comp attorney to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights are protected.