A Los Angeles car-postal truck collision near the intersection of Hyperion and Lyric Avenue killed a mail carrier recently, according to a report in The Press Telegram.
Los Angeles police Officer Sara Faden said Downey resident Maria F. Gutierrez, 30, was in her postal truck going south on Hyperion when a car going east on Lyric Avenue ran into the truck’s right rear, causing it to overturn. Gutierrez was ejected and the truck rolled-over, crushing her. The three passengers of the other car were unhurt while its driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
My deepest condolences to the Gutierrez family and the friends of Maria Gutierrez. Remember Maria was on the streets delivering mail, serving all of us when this fatal Los Angeles truck accident happened.
California suffered 1,293 light truck accident fatalities in 2006. Of that number 66 fatalities occured in Los Angeles according to the California Highway Patrol statistics.
If the report is accurate, then the mail truck could have a rollover problem. If we were representing the Gutierrez family, not only would we be aggressively pursuing the at fault driver, we would also be seeking answers to why this accident ended in a fatality? Was the mail truck rollover prone? Were there other contributing causes to this accident?
The Gutierrez family has suffered a tremendous emotional loss and most likely a substantial financial loss as well. They deserve to be compensated and they have legal rights to be compensated. Since Maria Gutierrez was “on-the job” her family will most likely receive worker’s compensation benefits but workers’ compensation death benefits are embarrassingly inadequate to compensate for such a loss. In order to recover more than the meager workers’ compensation benefits, the family is going to need to pursue their third party rights against the at-fault driver and any others who are at fault.
Before accepting any workers’ compensation benefits the family should make themselves aware of their rights and options. For instance, the workers’ compensation insurance company may have first rights to any money coming from the at-fault driver. Yes, that is right. That’s why it is important to consult with an attorney who is a real expert in traffic accident cases as well as workers’ compensation subrogation rights and how to legally avoid reimbursing the workers’ compensation insurance company.