Most Long Island residents understand that the job of an Emergency Medical Technician can be very dangerous. EMTs are often required to accept risky conditions such as a fire or building collapse to do their work. Another hazard of an EMT’s job is the need to travel at relatively high speeds to reach the individuals who need their assistance. This need for speed may have indirectly caused the death of two EMTs in Rockland County when their vehicle collided with a semi-trailer truck on I-87.

The accident

According to the New York State Police, one of the EMTs was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe southbound on I-87. The other EMT was the only passenger in the vehicle. At about mile-marker 29.1, the driver of the Tahoe attempted to move into the right hand lane, perhaps intending to leave the freeway on Airmont Road. As the Tahoe moved into the right-hand lane, it collided with the tractor-trailer. Both vehicles were forced off the freeway, and they came to rest in a ditch along the wood line. The Tahoe then burst into flames. The two EMTs were pronounced dead at the scene.

Workers’ compensation benefits

The two EMTs appear to have been working at the moment of the accident. Their destination was not mentioned in most media reports, but the time of the accident, 1:30 a.m., strongly implies that the two men were engaged in a work-related task.

This fact indicates that the families of both men are probably eligible for worker’s compensation death benefits. New York’s workers’ compensation statutes specify the amount of benefits based upon factors such as age, number of children and years of employment. Anyone who has lost a family member in a work-related accident may be eligible for similar benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide useful advice about available benefits and the most effective means of filing a claim for the benefits.