A hit-and-run driver left a Caltrans subcontractor dead on southbound I-110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday night. According to news reports, the crash was reported near the West Third Street collector road a little before 12:15 a.m.
The victim, a 48-year-old resident of Fallbrook, was placing cones on the freeway for a road closure when he was struck and killed. Authorities are looking for a dark-colored SUV with possible front end damage, and have asked the public to call in any information on the hit-and-run driver.
The high cost of construction worker fatalities
October marks the 10th anniversary of California’s Move Over law. This law was enacted to provide more safety to road construction and maintenance workers by requiring drivers who see amber lights flashing to approach with caution and move over one lane to allow more space along the side of the road.
The fact is, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that from 2011-17, transportation events accounted for 76% of occupational fatalities. In 60% of those accidents, a vehicle struck the worker while he was in the work zone. And pickup trucks and SUVs were responsible for 151 worker deaths at road constructions sites.
In 2017, California ranked second for the most fatal occupational injuries. Clearly, the hazards of construction work remain high, even when regulations are put in place to protect them.
Liability and compensation for construction worker injury or fatality
OSHA regulations require that contractors and managers adhere to a strict standard of hazard prevention to provide safe conditions to workers while on the job. However, if these measures are not in place and you are injured on the job as a direct result of unsafe working conditions or a negligent subcontractor, there may be cause for filing a claim.
Worker’s compensation will cover claims for any reason up to a certain limit, but it also shields employers from liability claims by their employees. Proving that your injury was caused by negligence on the part of the employer means being able to show that there was a breach of the duty that the employer owed to his employees, which caused the accident and injury.
Above all, it is important for injured construction workers or their families to know their legal options in the event of a serious construction accident or fatality.