For student athletes and their coaches, traveling to an away game can mean excitement, jitters, anxiety about facing their opponents or worrying about how a player's injury will hold up. The possibility of a work related injury may never cross the mind of a coach. However, greater tragedy can strike, changing lives forever.
Recently, the head coach of the Seton Hill University women's lacrosse team was killed in a tragic bus accident. The bus, carrying 23 passengers, was traveling to a game, when the bus veered off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and crashed into a tree. The 30-year-old coach, who was six months pregnant, was flown to a local hospital, along with two other injured passengers. The driver was also killed in the accident. Nineteen others were injured in the accident, and were taken to several local hospitals. Authorities are still investigating and it is not yet known why the bus crashed.
An employee who has been injured in a work related incident has several options, including the right to workers' compensation. Alternatively, an employee can waive that right and bring a lawsuit against the employer for injuries that were caused by reckless or intentional actions of the employer. In a situation where there has been a work related death due to the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else, the surviving family, through a personal representative of the estate, may be able to bring a wrongful death action against the responsible party.
These options allow for various categories of damages to compensate for medical care, and other, expenses. While such damages cannot un-do a tragic incident, they may be able to alleviate the financial strain that a work related accident causes.
Source: Post-Gazette.com, "Driver, pregnant head coach killed in crash of Seton Hill women's lacrosse team tour bus on Pennsylvania Turnpike," Michael A. Fuoco, March 16, 2013