Truck driver killed in gravel-loading accident
by Benjamin Treviño | January 9th, 2024 | Blog
HIDALGO COUNTY – A truck driver was crushed to death while picking up a load of gravel near La Joya in western Hidalgo County, officials say. Deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a workplace accident at a gravel pit outside the town of La Joya at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2.
According to a sheriff’s office news release, when deputies arrived at the pit, they found the driver dead inside the cab of a big rig, which was crushed, the sheriff’s office said. La Joya Fire Chief Leroy Salinas told KGRV that the driver was stopped near the pit when the vehicle fell into it with the driver still inside the cab.
The weight of the gravel may have been too heavy for the trailer, Salinas said, calling the death a “freak accident.”
A justice of the peace has ordered an autopsy, the sheriff’s office said. An investigation is underway and the sheriff’s office has asked federal workplace safety officials to assist.
Workplace wrongful death claims in Texas different from other states
Most states require employers to have workers’ compensation, but in Texas, many large employers do not legally carry it. Consequently, if your employer has no Texas Workers’ Compensation Coverage or their own Occupation Injury Plan, the employer can still be sued if they are negligent in causing the injury or death. If they do carry Texas Workers’ Compensation, they are generally protected from a lawsuit even if they are negligent.
However, there is an exception:
If an employee is killed by the gross negligence of their employer then their spouse and children can sue and collect punitive damages. This is because the Texas Constitution specifically allows such lawsuits.
Gross negligence is more than just negligence. To win this type of lawsuit your lawyer must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that:
(A) the employer was aware of an “extreme degree of risk and magnitude of the potential harm to others,” and
(B) the employer nevertheless proceeded with conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others.
Surviving family members should always remember that, besides the employer, they could still have a claim against any third-parties who were not their employer and were negligent in causing their injury.
Contact J. Gonzalez
If you want to file wrongful death claims in employment in Texas on behalf of your family member, you should speak to the J. Gonzalez Law Firm as soon as possible. Wrongful death cases can be quite complex, and it’s important to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side.
Our personal injury attorneys will know how much your claim is truly worth. We will assess several aspects of your case, such as funeral costs, medical expenses and loss of source of earnings, before coming up with an accurate figure.
The J. Gonzalez Law Firm can also help you save a lot of stress during this difficult time. When you’re grieving over the death of someone you loved, the last thing you should have to worry about is a lawsuit. Contact us today via this website, or by calling 1-800-CAR-CRASH.