New Jersey Garbage Truck Worker Killed by Company Vehicle

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on January 29, 2015

A 53-year-old garbage truck worker from Paterson, NJ died recently after he was struck by the vehicle on which he was working.  A fellow employee called the Franklin Lakes, New Jersey Police Department to report the incident, stating that he “struck one of the members of his crew” when he was backing up the truck. Police officers arrived at the scene to find the worker under the garbage truck. The worker was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The driver of the truck received a summons for careless driving, and Gaeta Recycling Co. Inc, the garbage truck company, received summonses for failing to maintain the truck’s lights.  According to the police, the incident seemed to be accidental, and the vehicle violations are not contributory; however, the circumstances of this truck accident are still under investigation.

When a worker is killed in New Jersey during the course of his or her employment, the worker’s family generally receives certain benefits afforded by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.   The extent of benefits vary.  However, they may include up to 70 percent of the decedent’s weekly wages and up to $3,500 in funeral expenses. Under New Jersey law, family members who were economically dependent on the deceased, such as the surviving spouse and children age 18 or younger, may qualify for benefits.

In some cases, when workers’ compensation benefits do not cover the surviving family’s damages, and a third party is possibly responsible for the fatal on-the-job accident, the family may seek further monetary compensation through a wrongful death civil claim.

If you have lost a loved one in a work-related accident, the experienced NJ workers’ compensation attorneys at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call (973) 635-5400 for a case evaluation at no cost to you.

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