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Seven Workers Remain Hospitalized After 91 Bridge Collapse

Seven workers are still in the hospital, several in critical condition, after the partial collapse of an on ramp along the Highway 91 in Corona October 9, 2015.

According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, 16 workers were at the site the night of October 9 positioned along the 750-ton concrete bridge.

They were removing blocks and shims during a jacking process to lower the bridge. One-fifth of the way through the lowering, the wooden supports gave way and struck some of the workers.

Ten were injured and nine were hospitalized.

Ongoing Investigation

State agencies are investigating, as is the Washington D.C.-based KCE Structural Engineers, which was hired by project contractor Atkinson Walsh. KCE did emergency engineering work on the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Officials say it could take six months or more for the investigation into this accident to be concluded. A workers’ assistance fund is being set up and the California Transportation Foundation has agreed to match donations up to $5,000.

All injured workers are eligible for workers’ compensation including medical care and disability benefits.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the workers who have been severely injured in this construction accident as well as their family members. We wish the injured workers the very best for a quick and full recovery.

Compensation for Workers

Based on this news report, it is not quite clear what caused this horrific accident. It is going to take an extensive investigation to determine precisely what caused the accident and who may have been negligent or responsible. The injured workers in this case will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which usually cover the cost of medical care and a portion of lost wages.

However, it does appear that several of the workers may have suffered catastrophic injuries. We can only imagine the emotional and financial stress their families are going through right now. In such cases, workers’ compensation benefits are woefully inadequate. In addition, workers and their families would be well advised to look into a potential third-party claim.

Such claims are filed against parties other than employers who may have caused or contributed to an accident. Examples of third parties include general contractors, sub-contractors, property owners and manufacturers or defective products.

Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced Riverside personal injury lawyer who will stay on top of the official investigation and ensure that their legal rights and best interests are protected.

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