Every year, firefighters in California put their lives on the line to protect the property and lives of others. Sadly, some of these brave workers suffer fatal workplace injuries. The U.S. Fire Administration says more than 50 firefighters have lost their lives so far this year.
Earlier this month, a pilot in an airplane spotted an overturned bulldozer and advised authorities. Rescue workers rushed to the scene where they discovered that the massive machine had rolled over, pinning the operator and crushing him to death. He was a 36-year-old firefighter who was on duty when the accident happened. The man was working with a CAL FIRE unit, fighting a fire in the Sierra National Forest.
Reportedly, the incident occurred on the day before crews reached the wreck. The deceased firefighter was an equipment operator who was creating a fire break on a ridge. For reasons yet to be determined, the bulldozer rolled down the incline and landed on top of the firefighter, causing fatal injuries. Rescue workers only managed to retrieve his body another day later.
California families whose loved ones suffered fatal workplace injuries while fighting fires can pursue assistance with the unanticipated financial consequences of such tragedies. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can explain their rights and assist with the navigation of the process to claim death benefits. They can expect to receive compensation to cover the expenses related to end-of-life arrangements along with wage-replacement packages to make up for lost income. This will ease the financial burden of day-to-day living expenses and monthly obligations such as rental or mortgage payments.