According to the California Highway Patrol, a suspected drunk driver struck and killed a construction worker in the early morning hours of Oct. 27. The accident took place around midnight in a construction zone on eastbound Highway 68 in Salinas. The family of the construction worker, who was employed by Bay Area Traffic Solutions, may be entitled to benefits under workers' compensation. The driver was taken into police custody on suspicion of DUI. He was booked into the Monterey County Jail.
The driver reportedly drove through the cones marking the construction zone, passed another vehicle and struck the construction worker, according to officers. The driver allegedly did not stop and continued on for around half a mile. Witnesses stayed with the driver until emergency personnel arrived at the accident scene.
Workers at construction sites are at risk for being struck by passing motorists. Employers are required by state and federal law to provide a safe work environment. However, it may be impossible for an employer to protect a construction worker from an intoxicated motorist. Even though an employer may not be at fault for a workplace accident, it is required to provide workers' compensation benefits for its employees.
If an employee is killed in a workplace accident, his or her family members or heirs may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, funeral expenses and medical bills. An attorney who has experience in workers' compensation can assist the family members in filing the required claim and throughout the process. In some cases, if the accident was the result of the negligent actions of a non-employer third party, the family members may be able to pursue wrongful death litigation as well.
Source: KION, "Construction worker killed by suspected DUI driver", Jake Reiner, October 31, 2014