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Sanitation worker struck, killed behind garbage truck

When workers are injured on the job and they must discuss recovering workers' compensation benefits from their employer. However, there are some cases where a third party is involved.

A sanitation worker was killed recently when he was struck by another vehicle while standing behind a garbage truck. Louisiana police said the 40-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the state police, the driver of the other vehicle was a reserve deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, but was not on duty at the time of the crash. The man was injured in the crash and taken to a hospital for treatment.

In a personal injury case, the injured party must show that the defendant caused the injury through negligence or bad acts. By contrast, workers' compensation acts as is a no-fault system. This means under Louisiana law, injured workers don't have to prove their employers were negligent or that their workplace was unsafe before they can collect benefits. The worker must merely show that the injury happened in the course of performing his or her job duties.

If an injured worker collects worker's compensation after an accident, he or she is barred from filing a lawsuit against the employer involving the same accident. However, this would not stop the worker from filing suit against a third party that held some liability for the accident.

In the case of a fatal workplace accident, the same principles apply to the family of the victim. Family members may collect benefits through the workers' compensation insurance carried by the victim's employer. If they collect these benefits, they may not file suit against the employer over the same accident. However, depending upon the circumstances, they may be free to file suit against a third party.

A fatal workplace accident can leave a family grieving and without the income and support their loved one provided. Workers' compensation benefits and/or a wrongful death lawsuit may help. An attorney with experience in workers' compensation and personal injury law can help injured workers and surviving family members to understand their legal options.

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