One prison guard has been injured and another died after a recent rollover accident in Colorado. The Denver Post reports that the accident happened in between the small towns of Genoa and Limon in eastern Colorado along an icy stretch of Interstate 70. Although little has been released about the accident, there have been reports that the guard who survived the accident sustained moderate to serious injuries and will most likely need to apply for lost wage benefits from his or her employer.
The injured guard was rushed to Lincoln Community Hospital in Hugo, Colorado, after the van he or she was in rolled over after presumably skidding on the icy road. Some sources note that there were a considerable number of other accidents on that same stretch of road throughout the day, all due to inclement weather. At the time of the accident, the guard was transporting nine prisoners from a Corrections Corporation of America-run facility in Burlington to the state-run prison in Limon.
It has been reported that both guards were employees of CCA and the van they were travelling in was owned and operated by their employer. Since the guards were working at the time of the accident, the injured guard should be able to file a workers' compensation claim against CCA and the surviving family members of the guard who died should be able to file dependency and death benefits.
While the families of these two guards are struggling to deal with the aftermath of this tragic accident, they may not also be able to tackle the overwhelmingly complex nature of workers' compensation laws in Colorado. From finding the applications to filling out all of the forms correctly and completely to dealing with adjusters, it is often too much for someone who is still recovering from a devastating injury or from the loss of a loved one to do without the help of a workers' compensation attorney.
Source: The Denver Post, "Guard and inmate killed in rollover of prison van between Genoa and Limon," Karen Augé, Dec. 19, 2011