February 25, 2015- Chesterfield, VA
Welford D. Smith, age 67, died early Tuesday morning after his tractor-trailer ran off of eastbound Hull Street Road and struck a tree in the median. Mr. Smith was the truck’s only occupant.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that one lane of Hull Street was closed in each direction between Sappony Road and the 24000 block as a result of the crash.
According to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, over three million workers (approximately 98 percent of Virginia’s workforce) are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation can provide for payment of burial expenses and lost wages to surviving family members in the event that an employee dies as a result of an on-the-job injury. Relative to wrongful death claims, Workers’ compensation provides broad protections for the families of those who lose their lives on the job. While a defense of contributory negligence can derail a wrongful death claim, theories of negligence do not impact Workers’ Compensation claims.
If an individual’s death on the job was caused by a negligent third party, Virginia’s workers’ compensation statute does permit dependents to pursue wrongful death compensation, regardless of whether the decedent collected worker’s compensation from their employer.
If you or a loved one suffers an injury or illness at work that results in death, contact the experienced attorneys at ReidGoodwin to explore all available legal options.