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California workplace accidents: Government shuts company down

A California bus company has been shut down after a deadly crash took the lives of several people. The bus was traveling back from a day trip when it collided with a truck and another car. Seven of the bus passengers and the truck driver died. If the bus driver in this crash is among the many people who sustained injuries, he or she may be entitled to seek a workers' compensation claim. Workplace accidents cannot always be prevented, but when safety issues are present, employees could be placed in harm's way on a daily basis.

This particular bus had been barred from the road twice in 2012 for issues with its brakes. The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board stated that companies with repeat safety violations normally do not get shut down until a fatality crash happens. She cited numerous incidents of issues with vehicle maintenance and driver fatigue prior to crashes similar to this one.

The government stepped in and forced the company to close this month after it was discovered it had failed to properly conduct required maintenance or inspections on their vehicles. In addition, government officials have vowed to send investigators out to other companies and force shut downs if there is evidence of unsafe practices. The hope for the crackdown is to get unsafe vehicles off of the roads and to avoid deadly crashes like the one in California. Last May, 26 motor coach companies were shut down across the country for safety reasons.

When employees become involved in workplace accidents, there is a likelihood of a workers' compensation claim being necessitated if injuries occur. Filing for such benefits could assist injured workers or even their families if a fatality has occurred. Workplace accidents have a higher likelihood of occurring if hazards exist, potentially boosting the possibility that an employer will have to answer a workers' compensation claim. California employees who feel like they do not receive their entitlements have legal recourse available and can request assistance with their claims.

Source: Bloomberg.com, "U.S. Pledges Another Unsafe-Bus Crackdown After Crashes," Jeff Plungis, Feb. 14, 2013

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