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Worker Killed By Excavator In Hobart Construction Accident

Steve Wagner

Worker Pinned and Killed in Tragic Hobart Excavator Accident

A construction crew was recently replacing sewer lines near Lakeshore Drive and Pennsylvania Street in Hobart when an excavator accident occurred that took the life of a 62-year-old worker from South Haven. Reports from the Hobart Fire Department and Technical Rescue Team say it is believed an excavator operator was inside the cab and turned to speak with the crew member on the ground. While he was turning back to situate himself in the seat, a piece of his clothing possibly then caught a lever, which had control over the excavator’s bucket. The bucket was already positioned inside the hole and had then moved forward and pinned the crew member in the hole against the wall, killing him. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police and the Lake County coroner’s office. The operator of the excavator did not show any signs of impairment and an official investigation is now open and ongoing.

Although this tragic excavator death is not common for Indiana it does show that workplace fatalities can happen to any worker, at any time. The Indiana Department of Labor’s Fatal Occupational Injuries 2016 report found the number of Hoosier deaths related to the workplace totaled 115 the previous year, mimicking the state’s lowest total in 2012. Nearly 48 percent of fatalities involve transportation, making vehicle crashes the number one cause of worker fatalities. Indiana’s construction industry has been seeing a steady decrease in workplace deaths over the years.

Wrongful Death, Negligence, and Recklessness

When working conditions are not regularly monitored for safety and compliance per standards of the OSHA, workers are put at risk of suffering a fatal injury. Relatives of deceased workers can file a wrongful death suit, seeking damages against the employer. Death benefits are secured under Indiana’s workers’ compensation laws. In the event of a work-related accident that results in a wrongful death, the benefactors of the deceased person could be eligible for funeral expenses and burial costs, as well as 500 weeks of death benefit payments. These payments may be available in a lump sum, or in structured payments.

It is imperative that your family is well represented by a qualified lawyer in cases like these. Workplace accidents have many dimensions, and it often requires meticulous preparation to prove negligence to the jury and negotiate with the employer’s insurers that the next of kin deserves a higher level of compensation. The employer may have counterclaims of the employee’s negligence leading to the accident, and such claims must be countered with strong facts and evidence for the wrongful death charges to stick. There is a common theme that runs through all wrongful death cases, however, and that is negligence and recklessness.

About our Indianapolis Wrongful Death Lawyers

Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your Indiana accidental or wrongful death claim with years of experience and proven results. Contact us now at (888) 204-8440 to schedule an appointment in our Indianapolis or Carmel offices, or use our convenient, confidential contact form.

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