November 10, 2014- Prince William, Va.
Anthony T. Coppedge, a Richmond, VA resident, was killed on Friday night after his tractor-trailer collided with a dump truck in Prince William.
Moments before the crash, Virginia State Police received a phone call reporting a dump truck blocking the middle lane on I-95 northbound. However, troopers were not able to get to the truck before the crash. Both trucks overturned and Coppedge died at the scene.
Charles L. Tate, the driver of the dump truck, was taken to Sentara Hospital and is expected to survive.
If Mr. Coppedge was on-the-job at the time of this tragic accident, Virginia’s workers’ compensation laws provide for the payment of burial expenses and lost wages to Mr. Coppedge’s surviving family members.
Mr. Coppedge’s surviving spouse, any children under the age of 18, children under the age of 23 who are enrolled full time at an accredited college or university, and other qualifying dependents may be entitled to wage loss benefits. Death benefits may also include burial expenses (not to exceed $10,000) in addition to $1,000 for transportation costs.
While it is not reported what caused Mr. Tate to stop his dump truck on the middle lane on I-95 northbound, he may also be eligible for workers’ compensation for his injuries if he was on-the-job at the time at the time of the crash.
Relative to personal injury claims, workers’ compensation provides broad protections for injured Virginians. While a defense of contributory negligence can derail a personal injury claim, theories of negligence do not impact workers’ compensation claims. Mr. Tate may be eligible for benefits even if the accident was partly or entirely his fault, and Mr. Tate does not have to demonstrate that his employer did anything wrong.