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What happens after a fatal work accident

This past week, a tragic accident occurred in a Texas county. A 26-year-old sanitation worker was killed in an accident that involved a garbage truck. According to reports, the man was somehow caught in the truck's compactor and crushed.

The medical examiner's office is reviewing the case. Reports note that the supervisor of the the worker was driving the garbage truck. The company involved is a family-owned sanitation operation. The driver said he found his co-workers body in the compactor.

This is a gruesome and tragic story, and it might raise questions for individuals who regularly work with large machinery. What happens if you are killed on the job? We've talked a lot in the past about what happens if you are injured on the job and how workers' compensation payments might play a role in your recovery. But how does your family move on after dealing with loss and death -- especially if you contribute a large percentage of income to the household?

There are some things you can do to safeguard loved ones in case of such an event, including estate planning, life insurance, and certain types of coverage through your job. Your family might also be able to file a lawsuit against an employer or other party is negligence was a factor in the injury that caused a death. Obviously, this is very different from workers' compensation coverage, which doesn't consider liability.

If you have already lost a loved on in an accident, then you might be able to seek compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. Compensation in such cases is usually sought through a wrongful death suit.

Source: KENS 5, "Waste worker crushed to death in garbage truck in West Bexar Co.," April 12, 2016

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