Two utility workers in another state suffered serious injuries in an accident that was allegedly caused by the driver of a speeding vehicle. According to reports, the incident occurred on a recent Tuesday morning in an area where employees of a utility company were digging a trench for a gas pipeline. Injured workers nationwide, including in Connecticut, are entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits, and if their injuries are caused by third-parties, such as in this case, the workers may also have viable third-party civil claims.
Reportedly, slow moving traffic was going through the construction area, and an officer was directing the traffic. For unknown reasons, a car with a 76-year-old driver and her 84-year-old husband as passenger chose to speed down the left side of the backed-up traffic. She reportedly barely missed striking the traffic officer and smashed into the front of a backhoe that was excavating the trench.
Police said the impact caused the heavy machine to spin, launching one worker — who was next to the backhoe when it was struck — across the road, and he landed about 30 feet away. The windshield of the backhoe smashed and debris caused leg injuries to the operator. The worker who landed on the roadway suffered serious back, neck and head injuries. Another car was also struck, but that driver was not injured. The only other injured person was the passenger in the car that struck the backhoe.
The type of injuries that this worker suffered could cause long-term medical problems. While the workers’ compensation benefits may cover most of the medical expenses and lost income, successful third-party claims may provide additional financial relief. In Connecticut, some victims of workplace accidents choose to retain the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can provide guidance throughout the claim proceedings. A lawyer can also determine whether the injured victim has a viable third-party claim and can assist in navigating such a claim.
Source: lowellsun.com, “Utility worker critically injured in Lowell accident“, Cassidy Swanson, Nov. 17, 2015