Friday, April 9, 2010

Montgomery County Police Officer dies in Single Vehicle Accident: Maryland Workers Compensation Applies

On April 4, 2010 at 2:20 a.m., Officer Hector Ayala was traveling west on Randolph Road in response to a call from another Officer needing assistance at the scene of a fight.  Officer Ayala was killed in route when his vehicle ran off the road and struck a tree.  If this accident were not tragic enough, Officer Ayala leaves behind a wife who is pregnant with triplets and a 14 month old son.  

Working the midnight shift, Officer Ayala, who was fluent in Spanish, was invaluable to the Wheaton district.  Many residents only speak Spanish, and therefore, he was often called on by other officers to help interpret.  

Little information is being released about the accident as police continue to investigate.  There could be any number of reasons this accident occurred, whether speed, in an attempt to assist a fellow officer, being cut off by another motorist, debris in the roadway, medical emergency, etc.  In this instance, if the accident was the officer's fault, his wife would be entitled to make a workers' compensation claim.  Further, if it was determined another motorist or circumstances other than the officer's negligence was the proximate cause of this accident than his survivors would be entitled to other benefits.  

Workers compensation applies because the officer was working in the course of his employment at the time of the accident.  Since he died the code requires that he have dependents to obtain a recovery.  In this case, he had a wife and several children.  Next, in addition to workers compensation, the family may be able to make a third party claim against the other driver, if it was determined another driver caused this accident.

It is important to always contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with these types of claims to assist you and ensure you receive each benefit you are entitled to.

If you, a family member or someone you know has been involved in an automobile accident or you would like more information regarding automobile accidents, please contact Portner & Shure and speak with one of our Maryland accident lawyers for a free consultation. 

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