Everyone knows that when a blizzard hits, the outdoors can become a magical winter wonderland, albeit one full of dangers. Ice creating slick spots on sidewalks and roads, large icicles falling from rooftops, and the extreme cold are all factors in the many accidents that seriously harm and kill anyone who dares to go outside. Unfortunately, many men and women are hired to work before, during, and after the storm, clearing snow and ice so that others can get back to their daily life.
But even with heavy equipment, working in a snow storm is no less dangerous for workers than it is for anyone else. If you add in poor lighting and a lack of signs on the road, the combination can be deadly.
Snow Plow Operator Hit By Train
On Tuesday, March 15th, 2017, a 29-year-old man was working as a snow plow operator, clearing roads during winter storm Stella. Part of his route crossed over train tracks. After working for several hours, he ended up crossing the tracks at around 4 p.m. and tragically, while crossing, his truck was broadsided by a train.
According to authorities, the impact killed him instantly.
The train that hit him was actually a plow train and had no passengers onboard, only the conductor who wasn’t injured.
A History Of Train Accidents
What was quickly noted is the fact that this is the sixth time that a train has struck a car at this particular crossing. Of those six, five ended with a fatality. So what makes this particular crossing so dangerous?
Anyone driving by can see – there are no gates or traffic signals at the intersection, meaning that a train could be barreling down the track and drivers would have no idea. Despite the continued deaths, these much-needed warning signs have not been installed.
That’s what investigators suspect happened in this case. While clearing a section of the road, the driver backed up to push the snow in a different direction and that’s when he was hit because he had to idea the train was coming behind his truck.
His Surviving Family Does Have Options
The knowledge that you’ve lost a loved one in an accident that could have easily been prevented if the correct safety measures were in place is a terrible burden to bear. It’s hardly surprising that many want to hold whoever is responsible for failing to protect their loved one, legally liable – and they should. In addition to seeking justice, it’s also quite possible to obtain monetary compensation to help transition through this stressful time and plan for the future.
A Claim Can Be Filed Through Workers’ Comp
Workers’ compensation, which is required by all employers in the state, isn’t just for workers who survive an accident. There are death benefits available to assist those who have been left behind. Surviving spouses, children, or parents may be eligible to file.
If the claim is approved, it can provide weekly payments that are supposed to help with the loss of the deceased’s wages. The claim can also provide coverage of funeral and burial expenses.
A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Provide Additional Compensation
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in addition to the workers’ compensation claim. This complaint is designed to hold the party whose negligence resulted in the accident financially responsible for the victim and their loved one’s losses. Lost wages, medical expenses for treatments the deceased received before they passed, emotional trauma, physical suffering, loss of consortium, and funeral and burial expenses are all potential benefits covered if the court awards the plaintiffs damages.
When Can The Family File?
The sooner the better. There are time limits on both workers’ comp claims and lawsuits and if the paperwork isn’t submitted in a timely manner, the opportunity to recover losses will be gone for good. An attorney can help inform the family of their rights and can also take care of the necessary paperwork, ensuring that a simple mistake doesn’t result in a denial.