A man working on his malfunctioning big rig in Santa Ana was crushed to death the morning of December 15, 2008 when the raised truck bed came crashing down on him, The Orange County Register reportshttp://www.ocregister.com/articles/truck-santa-trapped-2257091-called-hours. A bus driver, who noticed that the man had not moved for hours, called authorities. Firefighters, who arrived to rescue the man, said he had been dead for several hours and concluded that the accident must have occurred while he was trying to fix the big-rig. The Orange County Coroner’s Web site identifies the victim as a 46-year-old Garden Grove man.
Santa Ana police are apparently still trying to determine how the man ended up trapped by the large truck, which was being used to deliver industrial trash bins. The man had had the bed of the truck raised up and was working underneath it when it unexpectedly came crashing down and crushed him to death. The man suffered severe injuries and must have died instantly, officials say. The California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) is also investigating the incident.
My heart goes out to the family of this victim, who died tragically while trying to do his job. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
There are of course several unanswered questions about this Santa Ana big rig accident. How did the accident occur? What was wrong with the truck? Was the victim trained to fix it? Who is his employer? This person was obviously on the job at the time of the accident so his family members will be entitled to workers compensation benefits through his employer. However, many employees and their families find out the hard way that California’s workers compensation benefits are shockingly low and hardly provide enough compensation to cover medical expenses and loss of wages as a result of the injury or death.
The family of this deceased worker may pursue a third-party claim here, which may be worth a lot more to them than the workers compensation benefits. The claim could be filed, for example, against the manufacturer of the big rig, particularly if the malfunction was a result of a product defect. If I were representing this worker’s family, I would want the big rig to be preserved in its current damaged condition so it can be examined for product defects, mechanical malfunctions and other evidence. The man’s family would be well-advised to retain the services of an experienced Orange County on-the-job injury attorney who will help them secure the compensation they rightfully deserve.