They were there to pick up some overtime, and the chance to work together made it not feel so much like work. Both men were saving up for family vacations to Europe, so they had been together a lot lately on those extra shifts.
But something happened. Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what it was, but they do know it was about 8:15 a.m. and it was extremely foggy. The pair were on a dirt road near U.S. 27. The vehicle overturned. The truck rolled into a nearby canal. It was nearly an hour before rescue crews responded to the scene, where someone had called to report a vehicle upside down in the canal. The men were both pulled from the truck, where they were pronounced dead at the scene.
In this tragic situation, families are no doubt grappling with not only the emotional upending, but also the financial losses. These were two men who clearly worked very hard to provide for their families, and to suddenly lose that financial stability can be terrifying – especially if there are children involved. Here, both men were married and one left behind two small children, a daughter, age 3, and a son, age 1.
In this case, there may be some options for recovery our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney would recommend are worth exploring.
The first is workers’ compensation death benefits. Based on the facts provided in the media, these men were on the job at the time they died. Florida Statute Chapter 440 provides information on all the exact details, but essentially, state law allows spouses, minor children and other certain dependents to collect a maximum of $150,000 total. That includes funeral expenses, wage loss compensation and educational benefits to the surviving spouse.
Beyond that, it may be beneficial for the surviving families to explore whether there was any defect in the road that might result in liability on the part of the entity responsible for maintenance. Similarly, any defect in the vehicle might be grounds for action against the manufacturer of the vehicle.
Workers’ compensation laws prohibit workers (or their dependents) from taking further legal action against the employer.
According to investigators, there was a National Weather Service advisory in the area for dense fog. That type of warning means visibility would have been less than a quarter mile.
The surviving spouses of the men, speaking to The Sun Sentinel, said they were both very safety conscious. They were puzzled by how this could occur.
Fogs in Florida can be a serious road hazard for any driver, no matter how careful. It can result in severely-reduced visibility.
If you encounter heavy smoke or fog on Florida’s highways:
- Slow down.
- Use windshield wipers.
- Turn on the low-beam headlights.
- If it becomes so thick that you can’t see, pull over, all the way off the pavement and engage your emergency flashing lights. Make sure you are far enough away from the road to safely exit the vehicle without blocking traffic.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
FPL linemen from Sunrise, Parkland killed in crash near South Bay were good friends, Jan. 19, 2016, By Mike Clary, Sun Sentinel
More Blog Entries:
Fort Lauderdale Aims High With Vision Zero, Jan. 12, 2016, Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer Blog