There are few things better than taking a leisurely walk on a warm summer morning with a friend. With the sun warming her head and shoulders, that’s exactly what one woman set out to do in 2014. However, her walk didn’t turn out the way she imagined.
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On the morning of her accident, the plaintiff, who was joined by a friend, set out to walk along a section of road where normally pedestrians were able to use sidewalks on both sides of the road. However, due to construction work, the east side was shut down and pedestrians were rerouted over to the west side.
The then 69-year-old woman was continuing on her way when suddenly, she was struck by an incredible force. What she would later learn in the hospital is that a 17-year-old driver fell asleep behind the wheel, lost control of his car, and hit both her and her friend.
Both the plaintiff and her friend were rushed to the hospital where they were treated for serious injuries, including complex leg fractures and spinal damage. Today, the now 73-year-old plaintiff has trouble performing even the smallest tasks, such as drying her hair. She has been told by doctors that even a small fall could result in further damage to her spine.
She decided to file a lawsuit against both the driver of the car and the construction company, alleging that both were negligent and if they hadn’t been, she never would have been injured.
In court, the plaintiff’s legal team showed evidence that the west side of the road where pedestrians were rerouted had no sidewalks, had a large number of trip hazards, and that the construction company had done nothing to truly separate the pedestrians from oncoming traffic.
A former state engineer testified on the plaintiff’s behalf, pointing out that the traffic control plan was considered “high-risk” and that at best, dangerous for pedestrians.
The construction company defended themselves by stating that they had no control over the driver and that because the driver fell asleep behind the wheel, the driver should be considered 100% at fault for the crash.
After hearing arguments from all sides, the jury determined that the driver was 30% at fault for the accident and that the construction company was 70% at fault. They awarded the plaintiff $8.5 million for her medical expenses and the trauma she endured. Another $500,000 was awarded to her husband who co-filed the complaint with her.
While it’s common knowledge that construction company owners and managers must do everything that they can to keep their employees safe, many don’t realize that they owe the same duty of care to the public.
For example, a former model recently filed a lawsuit against a construction company after she was injured when the scaffolding she was walking under collapsed. She alleges that the company failed to construct the scaffolding according to safety standards and that they failed to monitor the weather conditions to determine if the scaffolding needed to be secured due to high winds.
In any situation where the public may come into contact with a job site, the responsible party must take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of others. If they fail to do so, they risk being named the defendant in a personal injury case.
If you were injured in an accident you may not be able to immediately identify all of the parties who are at fault. This is why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney review your case. If you or a loved one were recently injured in an accident, call Banville Law now. We can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
For more reading, visit our blog on unsafe crosswalks: https://banvillelaw.com/unsafe-crosswalk-kills-pedestrian/