Many people in Maryland have tuned into the phenomenon of reality television. While each show may have its own unique format, many reality-based shows require contestants to undergo hardships that seem impossible to the average person, making many of the participants seem almost invincible. Unfortunately, the family of Caleb Bankston, a former contestant on one of these shows, is now grieving after his death in a workplace accident. Fortunately, his family may qualify for workers' compensation benefits to help with the costs associated with his death.
Some reports indicate that Bankston, who was 26 years old, was an employee for the railway. He worked as a locomotive engineer and conductor. He was apparently at work in late June when a derailment occurred. He was killed when the train derailed.
At this time, it is unclear what caused the derailment that took the life of the Alabama Warrior Railway employee. In most workplace fatalities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will conduct an investigation to determine if any violations of health or safety standards may have contributed to the accident. The Federal Railroad Administration has also been contacted.
Any individuals, regardless of their level of celebrity, who lose their lives in a workplace accident can leave their families in precarious financial situations. In Maryland and other states, employers are required to provide workers' compensation benefits in case an employee is involved in a workplace accident. In the case of a fatality, these benefits generally extend to the employee’s dependent family members and can cover funeral costs and lost wages, among other expenses. Some people have found guidance from those with experience with such benefits helpful when navigating the path to compensation.
Source: The Huffington Post, "'Survivor' Contestant Caleb Bankston Dead At Age 26 Following Railway Accident", Stephanie Marcus, June 25, 2014