Monthly Archives: July 2013

Car hits and kills landscape worker in Wichita

A recent accident in Wichita took the life of a landscape worker. The 47-year-old was reportedly hit by a car as he worked alongside the road. A police officer indicated that the vehicle, driven by a 20-year-old, was not fully on the road when the collision happened. The car also hit a fire hydrant that flooded the street with water.

A woman who arrived at the scene happened to be a medical assistant, and she and another woman tried to help the man by performing CPR. Unfortunately, by the time emergency responders arrived, the victim had already passed away. The accident was still under investigation at the time of a July 29 report in The Wichita Eagle.

The police officer who commented on the accident warned pedestrians and drivers alike about roadside dangers, but it would certainly appear, if the driver’s car hopped the curb, that the worker was simply doing his job when he was struck.

In a case in which a work-related accident leads to the death of a worker, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to the family of the deceased. However, if a worker was injured or killed by the negligence of a third party, a personal injury or wrongful death claim may be a better course of legal action. In the event that faulty work equipment caused a worker’s injuries, a product liability lawsuit may be necessary for the injured party to receive compensation for damages.

In our Leawood and Topeka law practice, we help individuals and families understand their legal rights under our state’s workers’ compensation and personal injury laws. To learn more, please visit our workers’ compensation site.

Source: The Wichita Eagle, “Landscape worker killed when car leaves road, hits him in southwest Wichita,” Raymond Howze, July 29, 2013

Kansas ties for 4th among states most dangerous for workers

A recent Allsup study offers some interesting food for thought. For example, based on data gathered from 2011, Kansas came in fourth, tying with six other states, for being the most dangerous for workers.

Data was not available for 9 of the 50 states, but the study did find that, per 100 employees, Kansas had a rate of 0.9 workers who suffered injuries or illnesses that required either a job transfer or a restriction of job duties. To put those numbers in perspective, consider that the national average is 0.7 for such injuries per 100 workers.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the study is that workers with the same types of jobs — oil rigging, auto manufacturing and farming, for instance — were shown to be more likely to get injured in certain states than in others. So how can this be explained?

One reason may simply be environment. For example, a truck driver may be less likely to suffer work-related injuries on the flat and straight highways of Kansas than a truck driver on the curvy and mountainous roads of Virginia.

That isn’t to say that transport industry workers in Kansas don’t suffer their fair share of work-related injuries, but environment may be one reason as to why there is so much variance in injury rates within the same types of work.

Another reason for the disparity may have to do with how different states report work-related injuries.

In any case, Kansas workers who have been injured on the job should be aware of the appropriate course of legal action for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Compensation is not automatic after a work-related injury, and employees may encounter major obstacles in receiving the benefits they need and deserve.

Our Kansas City work accident site is a good resource for learning more about workers’ compensation in our state.

Source:, “The Most Dangerous States To Work In America — And The Most Dangerous Jobs To Have In Them,” Gary Belsky, July 23, 2013

Man and woman injured in work-related fireworks accident

Unfortunately, a recent Independence Day celebration in Jefferson County left two workers with burn injuries after fireworks in an uncovered tote accidentally ignited. The workers’ injuries were not thought to be life-threatening, but anyone who has experienced one knows that burn injuries can be some of the most painful.

The accident happened at the annual public fireworks display in Valley Falls. One of the workers, a Valley Falls resident, reportedly had severe arm burns. He was transported to a Topeka hospital for treatment. An Ozawkie woman was the other injured employee, and in addition to burn injuries, she was hit with a fragment of PVC pipe that embedded in her arm.

Investigators believe fireworks in an uncovered container detonated. That fire spread to a large store of fireworks in two separate containers. The exact cause of the accident was still under investigation at the time of a local report, and the injured workers may want to explore their compensation options under Kansas law.

Both individuals were initially taken to a local hospital, but the woman had to be transported from there to Kansas University Hospital. At first the wound on her arm was thought to be a broken bone but was later confirmed to be broken pipe.

Handling fireworks is one of those types of work that carry certain risks, but employees still have the right to a reasonably safe work environment. Workers’ compensation is available to injured employees across the spectrum, and anyone who has been injured in a work-related accident should be aware of the legal options for covering medical bills, lost wages and other damages arising out of the course of employment.

Source: Lawrence Journal-World, “Two workers injured in Valley Falls fireworks accident,” Ian Cummings, July 5, 2013

Kansas rig accident takes worker’s life, injures another

This blog is meant to shed light on some of the issues and obstacles Kansas workers and their families have to confront after a work-related accident. Injuries arising out of employment can lead to a workers’ compensation claim, but sometimes insurance companies and employers go to great lengths to reduce or deny compensation payments when injured workers need them most. In other cases, a party who isn’t your co-worker or employer may be responsible for the accident, or maybe a defective product caused an injury.

These issues may have to be considered in the investigation of a tragic drilling-site accident that took the life of one worker and sent another to a Wichita hospital.

According to the sheriff’s department in Trego County, a rig worker was severely injured when he was struck by a falling derrick basket. His injuries were so severe that he died at the scene.

The worker who was in the basket when it fell was also hurt, though the nature of his injuries was not reported. He had to be airlifted to a hospital for treatment.

As is routine after a fatal workplace accident, investigators from the Occupational Safety and Heath Administration were called to the scene. An OSHA spokesperson indicated that D & S Casing, based in Kansas, was involved in the investigation, but a news report does not clarify which company or companies may have employed the workers.

It is known, however, that the Oklahoma company Horizontal Well Drillers is in charge of maintaining the rig.

The man who survived the accident and the family of the man who died may be entitled to compensation in one form or another.

If Kansas residents would like to learn more about what to do after a work-related injury or death, our Kansas City work accident pages are there to help.

Source: Upstream, “One worker was killed and another injured at a drilling site in Trego County, north-west Kansas, according to reports,” Luke Johnson, June 27, 2013