A 35-year-old worker suffered severe burn injuries in an Oceanside construction accident Sept. 9 after a plastic can filled with gasoline caught on fire. The worker was trying to refill a gas-powered chain saw when the accident happened. The San Diego Union-Tribune was our source for this blog.
The injured victim, who has still not been identified, was working with a crew that was building a skate park within Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Mesa Drive. According to Oceanside Police Sgt. Kelan Poorman the construction worker was trying to refill the hot chainsaw using a one-gallon plastic container of gasoline and the heat from the chainsaw must have ignited the fumes coming from the can. The construction worker suffered burns over 50 percent of his lower extremities, Poorman said.
Please keep this injured construction worker in your prayers. Had this man received more training on how to handle a chainsaw or how to safely refuel the tool, this accident could have been prevented. It’s tragic!
The injured worker will be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits through his employer. His employer, very likely, is a contractor who is constructing the skate park for the City of Oceanside. Still worker’s compensation benefits in California are pitifully low. They’re definitely not enough to compensate an injured victim for medical bills, medication and loss of wages.
I strongly urge the injured worker’s family members to consult a reputed California personal injury lawyer who has experience dealing with on-the-job injuries and worker’s compensation cases. A skilled personal injury attorney will also look into whether there is a “third party” claim here. A “third party” claim is against someone other than the employer or a co-worker, who could be held responsible for the accident. Third party claims are usually worth a lot more than worker’s compensation benefits.
I’ll bet the contractors, sub-contractors and definitely the City of Oceanside have their insurance people looking into this incident. Governmental agencies and businesses are always looking for ways to protect themselves and dodge liability. Victims of construction accidents need skilled representation – someone who’ll fight for them and protect their rights.