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What Can a Family Do After a Deadly Forklift Accident at Work?

Tragedy struck recently in Montauk when a man who was helping to guide a forklift operator was run over and killed by the machine. The man, Hector O. Duarte-Roque, was working at a construction site at the Montauk Lake Club and Marina on the morning when the accident took place. The equipment was reportedly being driven by a relative and co-worker of Duarte-Roque’s. Duarte-Roque was treated for his injuries by rescue personnel at the scene and by doctors at Southampton Hospital, but did not survive his injuries.

While the exact cause of the accident is unknown, the victim was assisting the operator and was likely standing in a blind spot created by the machine, a large type of forklift often referred to as a lull. Because both men were working for the same company, the victim’s family is likely limited to recovering workers’ compensation death benefits. That’s because workers cannot typically bring a lawsuit against their own employer for an injury caused by coworkers.

However, in cases where a negligent forklift operator and an injury victim do not work for the same company, New York law often allows a type of suit known as a third-party claim. When this type of claim arises from the death of a worker, it functions like a normal wrongful death suit, allowing the victim’s family to recover compensation for funeral expenses and medical costs. Long Island families are often also able to recover payment to offset the loss of support and services that their loved one would have provided, as well as remuneration for the loss of any inheritance. If the deceased person suffered before their death, compensation for pain may also be awarded.

The experienced and compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia help families pursue justice and the compensation they deserve. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, contact us to schedule a consultation at our Long Island office. We serve clients throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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