In 2015, the United States experienced more than 5,300 pedestrian deaths due to being hit by automobiles. Aside from walkers, road construction workers are in extreme danger while working on California’s highways. According to Caltrans, 187 workers have died on the job since 1921. That is nearly two workers per year that have been killed while completing their daily duties.
Many of the accidents that occur are highly avoidable and happen due to driver error. Whether motorists are driving too fast, talking on their cell phones, or are simply paying too little attention to the road, workers are being injured. But are all situations in which pedestrians and road construction workers are being injured the fault of motorists?
Caltrans Sued for $56.5 million
According to Caltrans’ website, it manages some 50,000 miles of California roads along with other areas that include airports and railways in the state. In February of 2017, the company was found guilty in a California court for not taking the proper precautions in road work when one of its employees was seriously injured. Due to a lack of precautions, employee Kyle Anderson was hit by a car and left near death.
At the age of just 20, Anderson was paralyzed and unable to speak after a motorist hit him while he was working. However, Caltrans could have helped to prevent the incident from occurring. The company had denied a lane closure request that would have made the job Anderson was working on safer.
In addition, Caltrans erected a light tower for its workers that actually blinded oncoming motorists with its glare. This contributed to the accident. To top things off, the group removed a backhoe which was acting as a barrier between the work area and traffic. In all, Caltrans’ decisions were a recipe for disaster.
Anderson’s $56.5m courtroom verdict seems like a major victory, but factoring in his injuries, medical expenses, loss in future wages and any modifications to vehicles or his home, seem justified. In the end, they may actually be too little.
If You Were Hit by a Motorist
In most cases, the vehicle’s driver is at fault for an accident when a worker or pedestrian is hit.
Therefore, the driver’s insurance will be the one who you can file a claim with to seek compensation. While you can receive a settlement from a driver’s insurance provider to cover your medical expenses, you may need to seek an experienced trial attorney to take matters further if compensation is not forthcoming.
A civil court case against the driver or the driver’s insurance provider may be needed to obtain the compensation you deserve. In the case of Kyle Anderson, it can be a matter that needs far more attention and courtroom time.
It is also important to note that injury is not the only result of being hit by a vehicle. Each year, numerous deaths are attributed to pedestrians being hit by motorists. In May of 2017, a man was changing his SUV’s tire on the side of California Interstate 80. While changing the tire, a black Honda driven by Brandon Rotolo, hit the SUV and the man changing its tire. Rotolo was suspected of being under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident. The man who was simply changing his vehicle’s tire lost his life, and now his family must pick up the pieces.
Strassburg, Gilmore and Wei can Help
The law firm of Strassburg, Gilmore and Wei can provide you with legal guidance when it comes to catastrophic injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Located in Pasadena, California, Strassburg, Gilmore and Wei, Attorneys at Law, is available to give you insight on difficult matters. Visit our webpage to see how we can help you. If you have any questions, contact us and let our experienced attorneys in catastrophic injury and wrongful death go to work for you.