Workers in construction zones on California roads face multiple occupational hazards. Along with the dangerous nature of their work, and the heavy equipment on the work site, these workers have to deal with the threats posed by negligent drivers who travel through the work zone. Many workers’ compensation claims involve injuries caused by distracted, impaired or otherwise careless drivers.
On a recent Sunday evening, two workers in a freeway work zone were injured by an alleged impaired driver. Reportedly the driver also hurt himself when he lost control of his vehicle shortly before 11 p.m. A California Highway Patrol report indicates that a 24-year-old driver was southbound on Interstate 15 when he drove through the obstructions and struck the rear of a pickup truck in the construction zone.
The impact caused injuries to one construction worker who was in the pickup truck, and another one who was on foot. Paramedics transported both injured workers to a hospital. Although their injuries appeared minor at the time, delayed symptoms can become evident later. The driver was arrested and charged with drunk driving.
When third parties injure construction zone workers in California, injured workers may be entitled to file personal injury lawsuits in a civil court. This can be done apart from any workers’ compensation benefits claim. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can assess the circumstances to determine the viability of a civil claim, which typically provides more financial relief (such as pain and suffering) than what is available through the state-regulated workers’ comp insurance system.