Car Crash Kills SoCal Edison Employee
A SoCal Edison worker was struck and killed by a car while working on the ground in Lancaster on Friday, September 30, 2016. That crash occurred at a utility pole located at 20th Street East and Avenue K. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extract the driver of the car, who was a man thought to be in his 20s. The driver has not yet been identified, nor has the exact cause of the crash, although investigators have stated that they do not believe that alcohol played a role in the fatal pedestrian accident.
The victim has been identified as a 56-year-old Quartz Hill resident, Gerald Joseph Smith. SoCal Edison employees have expressed their sadness of the loss and have extended condolences to the man’s family. The family has not been available for interviews.
Death benefits afforded to family
The sudden loss of a loved one in a tragic accident sends shock waves through a family. Adding insult to injury, families who have suffered a loss must deal with the financial consequences. During such a difficult time, it can be helpful to turn to an experienced personal injury lawyer for legal guidance. There are complex legal issues involved with the death of an employee while on the job and with pedestrian accidents in general. Typically, families of deceased workers are eligible for benefits through workers’ compensation.
The death benefits can cover some of the burial expenses, enabling families to give their loved one a dignified funeral. The total amount of benefits can vary depending on the decedent’s wages. They may be paid in weekly installments or in a lump sum.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit
Usually, when an on-the-job injury is covered by workers’ compensation, injured employees are barred from filing a lawsuit. However, survivors of wrongfully deceased workers aren’t restricted in such a way when another party is to blame for the death, nor are the families of pedestrians who were killed by a reckless or negligent driver. In this case, the family of the SoCal Edison worker may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. They may seek damages for the loss of support, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
To successfully recover damages, it is necessary to prove that the defendant was negligent in some way. It is possible that toxicology tests could reveal that the driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol, which in itself is typically proof of negligence. Otherwise, traffic cameras and other physical evidence may reveal that the driver ignored the rules of the road, which resulted in the fatal crash.
Legal consult with Ellis Law attorneys
At Ellis Law, our veteran Los Angeles trial attorneys understand that families need legal guidance in the midst of very difficult times. It is our mission to provide effective legal advice and advocacy services to families who are seeking justice on behalf of a lost loved one. To request a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options. Call 310-641-3335 today.