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Widow of Worker Killed at Roadside Job Site Wins $6 Million Settlement

The widow of a worker killed after being struck by a truck while in a construction zone will receive a $6 million settlement from the defendant companies involved. construction accident attorney

Attorneys for the estate of deceased worker had alleged the construction companies on site were negligent in failing to erect the required drums or traffic barriers that would have protected the workers. The 38-year-old worker from Wisconsin was completing some electrical work just a few feet from an intersection when a semitractor-trailer tried to make a sharp right turn. The worker’s back was to the intersection at the time he was struck, and he had no time to react or jump out of the way. The widow’s wrongful death attorney alleged the construction companies put this worker out into the field with no protection.

Wrongful death claims were filed against the trucking company, the trucking company’s driver, the general contractor for the construction site and the subcontractor. A worker on site testified the majority of trucks that turned that same corner jumped the curb. Photos of the site proved this, revealing tire track marks well worn over the curb. Despite this, the construction company did not put up the necessary barriers. 

Decedent was reportedly conscious for several minutes after he was struck, but died soon thereafter due to massive traumatic injuries.

Decedent’s own employer reportedly contributed $400,000 as a result of the settlement.

As our construction accident attorneys in Fort Myers know, cases like this can be incredibly complex because for one thing, anytime we’re talking about trucking accidents or construction accidents, we’re almost always dealing with multiple defendants and insurers. In some ways, this is a good thing because the more liability insurance that is available, the better the odds of plaintiff actually receiving a full and fair recovery.

However beyond that, anytime there is a work-related accident, there is also the probability the employer will assert immunity under the exclusive remedy provision of workers’ compensation law. Employees cannot sue their employers for negligence leading to a workplace injury, unless they are not actually an employee (but rather an independent contractor) or unless the employer was grossly negligent (a tough standard to meet). In this case, it’s not clear whether the $400,000 paid into this settlement by the employer was part of a workers’ compensation settlement package, but we do know the employer was not named as a defendant in the civil action.

On construction sites, potential defendants include the site owner, general contractor, subcontractors and faulty equipment manufacturers. In cases involving roadside construction accidents, negligent drivers and their employers too may be deemed liable.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 1982 and 2014, nearly 25,000 people lost their lives in work zone crashes. That breaks down to about 750 a year. Many of those deaths involve people in motor vehicles, but an average of 121 work-related fatal injuries occur at road construction sites annually. Florida ranks No. 2 for the most worker deaths at road construction sites a year.

Affected workers largely include those who are:

  • Construction laborers;
  • Heavy and tractor trailer drivers;
  • Construction equipment operators;
  • First line supervisors of construction and extraction workers;
  • Highway maintenance workers.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a highway construction accident in Florida, our Florida wrongful death attorneys can help.

Call Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, at 1-800-646-1210.

Additional Resources:

Widow of worker killed by truck at Elmhurst job site wins $6 million settlement, Oct. 12, 2017, By Robert McCoppin, The Chicago Tribune

More Blog Entries:

Collecting on UIM Insurance in Work-Related Crash, Oct. 29, 2017, Fort Myers Wrongful Death Lawyer Blog