A terrifying bridge collapse on October 8th in Corona, California left at least eight workers seriously injured. Now, those workers are struggling to get by as they wait for answers determining the extent of their injuries and whether or not they can ever return to the jobs that provided their livelihood. So far, only a partial accounting of the accident has taken place.
The workers were helping lower an existing bridge when the wooden support structures gave out, causing partial collapse of the structure. Many workers suffered significant injuries, and the full extent of those injuries cannot be known for months or even years. As it is, multiple workers have already been forced onto disability.
Now, the state government is setting up accounts for injured workers to take donations from the public. Though a good thing, this only stands to illustrate how little support there is for people who are seriously injured on the job. Those injured may receive:
- Worker’s compensation
- Some medical coverage
- Social Security Disability, but only after undertaking an arduous and lengthy application process
In this situation, the workers were injured while performing work for the state, meaning they have more options and benefits than most workers. All too often, workers in the private sector receive no benefits without proving their employers was responsible for the accident. And employers, wishing to keep costs down, will do everything in their power to deny responsibility.
A full accounting of any accident is necessary when a workplace injury occurs, and the employer cannot be relied upon to provide it. At best you will end up with a partial accounting skewed towards limiting the employer’s liability. A full investigation should be conducted by a third-party.
If you or someone you love has been injured at the workplace, it is important you insist on a proper investigation. It is likely your employer will push you to accept their own findings, but an experienced attorney can help you push back. Please, find a qualified lawyer who will know how to help you find a qualified investigator to determine what really went wrong.