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Car accidents endanger more than just those involved

Emergency personnel here in New Jersey and elsewhere, such as police officers, fire fighters, and EMT's and paramedics, risk their lives every time they respond to a call. There is no guarantee that the situation into which they are walking will be safe for them, but they go anyway because that is their job. The scenes of many car accidents are a dangerous place since the emergency personnel who respond are often in harm's way.

A trooper with the New Jersey State Police recently lost his life in the performance of his duties. On a recent Monday at approximately 8:15 p.m., he and other emergency personnel responded to the scene of a car fire in the southbound lanes of Interstate 295. There were several police vehicles and fire trucks with their emergency lights on at the scene. Despite this fact, a motorist crashed into the trooper, who was outside his vehicle near the crash site at the time.

The victim suffered severe head trauma and was taken by helicopter from the scene to Cooper University Hospital in Camden. He succumbed to his injuries at approximately 12:30 a.m. the next morning. The driver of the car that struck him remained at the scene. It is not yet know whether charges will be filed against her since the incident remained under investigation at last report.

Surviving family members will most likely be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but that does not preclude them from seeking restitution from the driver. If the family files a third-party wrongful death claim and successfully establishes that the driver's negligence caused the death of their loved one, a New Jersey court might award damages. Those damages could help the family with the financial losses that accompany many fatal car accidents.

Source: CBS News, "New Jersey trooper dies after being hit at accident scene", March 8, 2016

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