One important rule of the road is that the driver must have sufficient control of his vehicle to avoid hitting other vehicles or persons on the road ahead. He must be focused on what lies ahead and react accordingly. He must be going at a speed that allows him to slow down within an assured clear distance of anything ahead. These are fairly universal principles of vehicular negligence applicable in New York elsewhere. One who fails to follow these basic operating principles and causes a car accident will likely be found liable for the damage caused.
A serious accident occurred in Wayne County recently, according to the New York State Police. A county highway worker who was wearing a reflective vest and standing behind a truck with overhead lights and four-way flashing blinkers was nonetheless hit and seriously injured by an oncoming car just before 9 a.m. on March 31. The 58-year-old man had to be airlifted to a hospital by Mercy Flight.
He was reportedly in serious condition, and his current condition is unknown. He was hit by an 83-year-old driver of Red Creek. Police ticketed the man but the investigation continues. Charges in a situation like this could get more serious as the investigation continues. If the victim fully recovers the police may decide to bring no further charges in their discretion.
In any event, the highway worker has a personal injury claim against the car driver. Here there is a workers’ compensation complication because the man was injured while at work. Thus, medical expenses and partial lost wages are paid by workers’ compensation. The personal injury claim, however, can include pain and suffering and any amounts not collected by workers’ compensation.
New York and other states have a statutory framework that designates a priority of responsibility for damages among different insurers in a car accident under these circumstances. With a serious injury of this kind it is helpful to have several sources of insurance available in order to obtain sufficient reparations. Personal injury counsel will consult the statutory rules setting up a pecking order and will go against the appropriate sources accordingly.
Source: 13wham.com, “Highway employee hit by car, seriously injured”, , March 31, 2014