California freeways are constantly damaged by the climate and the ever-increasing numbers of vehicles. For that reason, motorists have become accustomed to traffic cones and other signs of roadway construction zones. Workers in these construction zones are extremely vulnerable, and many construction workers' accidents have resulted in severe injuries and even deaths when passing drivers failed to take due care.
Many projects, such as resurfacing, are tackled overnight to avoid too much interference with high daytime traffic volumes. Unfortunately, not all drivers who travel in the early morning hours are sober. A 33-year-old employee of a Caltrans contractor recently lost his life when he was struck by a vehicle operated by a driver believed to have been under the influence. The fatal accident reportedly occurred in a closed section of Interstate 580 shortly after midnight on a recent Saturday.
The construction worker was part of a paving crew and was declared deceased at the accident scene. The 21-year-old driver of the car that struck the worker was arrested. He is now facing three felony charges, as well as enhancements due to the fact that his blood-alcohol percentage was said to be .15.
The surviving family members of California workers who are killed in construction workers' accidents may pursue claims for workers' compensation death benefits. These insurance proceeds can assist them in settling end-of-life expenses, and they typically provide a level of financial relief that may ease the burden of day-to-day living expenses. The financial package for covered dependents is based on the deceased worker's latest wage level. In a case in which a person who is not affiliated with the construction company is deemed responsible for a worker's death, the family may also be able to pursue a third-party claim for wrongful death in a civil court.
Source: mercurynews.com, "Oakland man arraigned in death of I-580 construction worker", Malaika Fraley, Sept. 22, 2015