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The unfortunate death of a railroad worker in Terre Haute is a sad reminder of the need or workplace safety. According to the article, the worker was crushed under a tanker that was being pushed slowly down the tracks. Officials are investigating to determine why the tanker jumped the tracks.

Officials say a railroad company employee died after he was struck by a tanker car that derailed in Terre Haute.

The Vigo County Coroner’s office says 42-year-old Philip T. Myers of Clay City was pronounced dead Wednesday at Terre Haute Regional Hospital of blunt force trauma to the head.

Workplace injuries are far more common than many people realize, and can come in many different ways. In fact, studies have found that 6 million Americans each year suffer non-fatal workplace injuries. For example, construction workers are exposed to numerous potential hazards such as falling building materials or poorly erected scaffolding. Farmers can suffer injuries by being crushed by livestock or run over by equipment. However, even jobs people wouldn’t think to be dangerous can involve risks, such as auto accidents or slips & falls.

In most instances, the worker’s employer will have worker’s compensation insurance to pay medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. It is important to notify the employer of the injury immediately so that there is documentation for the worker’s compensation carrier.

In addition to worker’s compensation, there are also times when a third-party liability claim can be made by the injured worker, but only if the person at fault for the accident was someone other than a co-worker. A little-known fact is that automobile accidents are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S. For example, if a sales person for a company is out making sales calls and is in an auto accident because another driver ran a stop sign, then the sales person would be able to make a claim under worker’s compensation AND against the insurance company of the at-fault driver.

Also, I’ve represented people who worked as delivery drivers and suffered serious injuries when they slipped and fell on ice that had been allowed to accumulate at the back door of the business they were making deliveries to. Again, the person has a worker’s compensation claim and a liability claim against the business’s liability insurance.

Regardless of whether or not the injured worker is able to make a liability claim, the bottom line is that we all need to be careful at all times. Stay away from repetitive lifting, report co-workers who are not following safety guidelines, wear protective clothing or safety gear, and drive safely. It’s obviously far better to avoid an accident in the first place!!

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