Performing construction work on roadways is a dangerous job. Workers constantly perform their duties within mere inches of moving vehicles. For this reason, many safety precautions are put in place. Hazard lights, signs notifying drivers of construction work, and lower speed limits all serve this purpose. Unfortunately, though, negligent drivers sometimes ignore these safety measures and cause an accident that is fatal. When this happens it is likely a wrongful death has occurred.
Recently, criminal charges have been filed against a driver who struck a Pennsylvania construction vehicle, which was then pushed into an employee working in front of the truck. The construction worker died as a result of the accident. The driver, who was operating his vehicle with a suspended license, has been charged with homicide by vehicle, amongst other offenses.
While a criminal conviction can punish an individual retributively, it does little to help a victim’s family in a practical way. Losing a loved one in a situation like the construction accident mentioned above is difficult, and hospital bills associated with the accident and funeral costs can serve as a reminder of the tragedy. Fortunately, a wrongful death attorney can help these families obtain compensation so that they can move on and focus on remembering their loved one.
To receive a wrongful death award, a victim’s surviving family member must establish that the individual being sued was negligent, that negligence caused the death of their family member, and compensable harm was caused to the family. These harms can include lost wages, loss of consortium, funeral costs, and medical expenses.
Once successful on a wrongful death claim, a family can obtain compensation for the above mentioned damages in addition to pain and suffering felt by the deceased before passing. Then, families can get out from under undeserved financial strain and move on with life. Though money cannot bring a loved one back, it allows these families to focus on remembering the life of a loved one taken too soon.
Source: Main Line Media News, “Driver charged in Pennsylvania Turnpike worker death,” Jan. 2, 2013