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Uninsured firefighter dies in accident on the job

Except under specific circumstances, all California employers must provide their employees with workers' compensation insurance coverage. Unfortunately, some company owners disregard the safety of their employees. Insurance benefits can provide financial relief for a victim of an on-the-job injury -- or the surviving family members of a victim of a fatal accident on the job.

A 35-year-old operator of a bulldozer died while fighting the massive wildfire that has been raging in Monterey County for weeks. He was reportedly employed by a construction company that is on call to Cal Fire as needed to help contain fires. Cal Fire reported that the man had arrived on site in Palo Colorado Canyon shortly before his death. Investigators will try to piece together the details of this fatal accident, as it occurred before the man was actively helping to fight the fire.

During investigations it came to light that the deceased man's employer had failed to secure workers' compensation insurance, claiming that the company had no employees. The Contractors State License Board said the company owner had been cited for this violation several times since 2012 but had been dragging his feet about the matter. The California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will look into the accident and said it now has this company in its sights.

Following the death of this worker in an accident on the job, it may be challenging for his surviving family members to achieve financial assistance to help them during this difficult time. They may benefit from consulting with an experienced California workers' compensation attorney. A lawyer can help them explore the available options and provide guidance in pursuing appropriate remedies under the circumstances presented.

Source: kqed.org, "Employer of Worker Killed in Soberanes Fire Under Scrutiny", Ted Goldberg, Aug. 2, 2016

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