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Fatal car accidents a major risk for road construction workers

Road construction workers here in Pennsylvania and elsewhere face numerous risks on the job. Employers and employees alike can account for equipment issues, weather conditions and other hazards, but controlling motorists is another thing altogether. Drivers may be the biggest threat to the safety of road construction workers since the workers are continuously at risk of becoming the victims of fatal car accidents.

A family continues to mourn the loss of a road construction worker killed by a hit-and-run driver on Aug. 21. The incident happened on Interstate 90 here in Pennsylvania. The injuries she suffered when the vehicle struck her turned out to be fatal. According to reports, she worked with her father for a company doing contract work for PennDOT. She was struck as she worked on a guardrail installing a cable barrier.

Police later apprehended the driver believed to be responsible for the crash after the driver was involved in yet another crash. That 19-year-old driver now faces charges of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk and involuntary manslaughter in connection with the incident, along with more than a dozen other charges. A judge recently denied the man bail at his arraignment.

The victim's family may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but they may also file a wrongful death claim against the driver police say is responsible for her death. Any evidence gathered by police and used by prosecutors in the criminal proceedings may provide the proof needed in civil court in order to establish that the driver's negligence caused the death of their loved one. A monetary judgment may not bring her back, but it could provide her surviving family with some recompense for the financial losses that accompany these types of fatal car accidents.

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