Workers' compensation: Forklift driver dies in construction zone

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health will likely launch an inquiry into the death of a construction worker in Pomona. The agency typically investigates fatal workplace accidents to determine whether there were safety violations committed. However, regardless of the findings of such an inquiry, the surviving family members of a deceased worker can pursue financial assistance through the workers' compensation insurance system.

The California Highway Patrol says the incident occurred at a road construction site along eastbound San Bernadino Freeway. Emergency workers responded to the scene at approximately 9:40 a.m. on a recent Friday. They arrived to find the worker trapped underneath a forklift. Sadly, he had already succumbed to his injuries by the time of their arrival.

A preliminary CHP report indicates that the 20-year-old from Redlands was eastbound on a gravel road when the forklift he was operating veered off the road. He was ejected when the heavy machine went down an embankment. It ultimately came to a halt on top of the operator. Authorities say impairment by drugs or alcohol is not suspected.

Having to deal with the loss of a loved one in a work-related accident is naturally a traumatic time for surviving family members. While dealing with their grief, they will also have to deal with the high costs of a funeral and burial along with the sudden loss of income. However, workers' compensation death benefits are available to cover those costs, and a victim's surviving family may utilize the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to help with the navigation of the claims process.

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