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Firefighter hurt in North Carolina truck accident

While driving a fire truck in response to a call in Ballantyne, a Charlotte Fire Department firefighter suffered an injury to his hand when the truck wrecked. The Dec. 21 incident transpired on Community House Road when the fire truck reportedly malfunctioned and flipped over. The worker, who was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries, is recovering and plans to resume his job, according to reports.

After thoroughly inspecting the fire trucks, the chief of the fire department concluded that the accident was not caused by the driver but by a mechanical problem affecting the truck's suspension. He explained that the driver lost control of the truck's steering when five spring hanger bolts malfunctioned and caused the truck's frame to come loose from its axle.

On Dec. 23, city officials were also involved in the inspection and allegedly found no faults with any of the other trucks. Inspections of the fire trucks take place quarterly, according to the report. Officials plan to find the exact reason why the bolts became defective through a third party inspection. It was unknown if the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the accident.

Workers' compensation, a no-fault insurance system, is available for North Carolina workers who suffer a workplace accident. It provides benefits such as medical expenses, partial payments for lost wages, disability pay and payments for decreased earning potential depending on the nature of the worker's injury. In the event a workplace accident occurs due to the negligence of a non-employer third party, including a manufacturer of a defective product, it is sometimes possible to maintain a personal injury action in addition to the workers' compensation claim. An attorney who has experience in these matters can explain the process.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Charlotte Fire Department chief: Mechanical failure caused firetruck to crash", Cleve R. Wootson Jr., December 23, 2014

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