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A 54-year-old recently fell at his place of employment in California. Unfortunately, paramedics were unable to save his life, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Although it is true that no amount of money can bring the man back, his family may now be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits.

The accident occurred mid-afternoon at what was once Bay Meadows Racetrack. The man was performing construction on a building when he fell about nine feet. He was working as a subcontractor for the owners of the construction site. Cal OSHA is investigating the accident.

As a general rule, when a construction worker suffers an on-the-job injury, the only remedy that they may have available to them is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation benefits are typically available to all construction workers. This is true regardless of the person at fault for the accident.

In some cases, workers have other legal remedies available as well. When a work-related accident occurs due to the negligence of a third party — someone other than the employee, co-worker or the employer — one may be able to file a civil claim. This can often be helpful to construction workers who are seriously injured and unable to return to work for some time.

California workers’ compensation benefits often don’t cover all the losses one experiences after a work accident. A third-party civil claim may be able to obtain monetary damages to ensure that one is fully taken care of until he or she is able to return to work. The same eligibility applies for families of deceased workers, as they also have the right to pursue workers’ compensation death benefits. The family of the deceased worker may also pursue a third-party civil claim, which could award financial restitution that may ensure that the family can worry about taking care of themselves and grieving over their loss rather than worrying about their finances.

Source: ktvu.com, “Worker killed in San Mateo construction accident identified”, , May 21, 2014