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The Texas Department of Public Safety commiserated with the families of sanitation workers whose lives were lost in recent weeks while they were on duty. The latest incident occurred in Texas on a recent Monday evening when a vehicle struck a waste collector in Orange. When such fatalities are caused by the reckless or negligent actions of third parties, wrongful death lawsuits might follow.

According to a preliminary accident report, the vehicle struck the sanitation worker while he was completing his route. Although he was rushed to a nearby hospital, he succumbed to his injuries later. Reportedly, the driver whose vehicle allegedly smashed into him was an 18-year-old female who was also taken to the medical facility for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening. A blood sample was obtained from the driver, and initial investigations also determined that she was not using her mobile phone when the accident happened.

While this accident investigation is ongoing, authorities expressed their concern about the number of recent accidents involving waste workers. Two sanitation workers — a 21-year-old Palm Beach man and a 28-year-old man from Cleveland — both lost their lives during November while they were working. An investigation is also underway following a Jefferson County crash that involved three dump trucks.

When work-related accidents claim the lives of workers in Texas, their surviving family members are typically entitled to claim death benefits through the state-regulated workers’ compensation insurance program for coverage of medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. However, if someone who is not linked to the same employer causes such a fatality, the family might also have grounds to file a civil lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in addition to a workers’ compensation benefits claim, and if it is successful, it typically yields a more comprehensive recovery of damages.