Recent South Carolina Flooding Kills Two Workers

According to a recent news article from Kentucky.com, two employees died as a result of the recent flooding in Eastover, South Carolina. Authorities say five workers were driving in a truck to various washout sites and repairing them along the railroad bed. After finishing repair on one washout, they got in the truck to drive to the next job site. After completing the last washout repair for the day, they started to make their way to a motel where they were staying.

flooded-access-road-1245711.jpgThey were driving on a paved asphalt road when they got to a spot where the road was submerged about 15 feet under water. The driver was unable to stop in time and drove into the deep water. At this point, three of the workers in the truck were able to escape from the submerged vehicle and ran for help for the two workers still trapped in the vehicle. However, it took almost 12 hours for recuse workers to locate the submerged truck. There was obviously nothing first responders could do for the two men, who were trapped in the underwater truck the entire night.

Authorities are claiming the driver of the truck had to crash through a barrier to get to the point where the vehicle sank because that section of road was temporarily closed due to the flooding. However, the railroad company disputes those claims and said there was no barrier, and, had there been, their workers would not have ignored the barrier and would have found a detour route. It should be noted that there has been no finding of negligence with respect to either party as of this time.

One of the things to keep in mind is that cases involving railroad workers do not always go through the typical workers’ compensation process because of federal railroad worker statutes. However, when you speak with your Spartanburg workers’ compensation attorney, he can discuss the interplay of the federal and state laws. In a typical workers’ compensation case involving the death of a worker, the surviving spouse or next heir at law, such as an adult child, can file a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits. Death benefits can often be paid as a single lump sum award or on a monthly basis.

Death benefits are designed to compensate a worker’s family primarily for lost wages. Lost wages include money the employee would have earned had it not been for the tragic accident. In addition to a lost wages claim, employee’s family may also recover for lost wages. Lost wages claims often involve a great deal of litigation, because, even if the employer agrees that the employee was killed on the job and family should be entitled to full compensation for lost wages, employer’s worker compensation insurance company is likely to challenge the claim, because these companies are often far more interested in their own profitability than they are about the workers’ family members being fully compensated.

This is just an unfortunate fact about the way in which many insurance companies operate.

You should speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about fighting for your right to full and appropriate compensation.

If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
R.J. Corman releases statement after 2 employees die in South Carolina floodwaters, October 2015, Kentucky.com, by Justin Madden

More Blog Entries:
Fatal Construction Accident Highlights Industry Dangers, Sept. 15, 2015, Spartanburg Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog

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