The Rights of Roadside Employees Who Are Struck by VehiclesRoadside work is dangerous work, whether you’re towing a car or building a bridge. If you have been hurt in the course of your job duties, the Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers from Silverman, McDonald & Friedman are here to help. Call us in Wilmington, Newark, or Seaford today.

People who work for towing companies, organizations like AAA, and state agencies such as the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) regularly place their lives in danger. Despite warning signs, flagmen, flashing lights, flares, and other precautions, many workers are struck by cars every year.

A recent report from the Delaware Department of Transportation highlighted the dangers. An employee for DelDOT was seriously hurt when a driver struck the employee while he was mowing grass. The driver didn’t have a license, let alone insurance. DelDOT officials are rightly upset that accidents like these occur all too often, because all the driver needs to do is slow down and make sure he/she doesn’t drive while distracted. In most cases, changing lanes avoids hitting someone who is on the road.

It’s not just DelDOT workers that are endangered. Emergency responders, EMTs, ambulance workers, and police officers are also at risk. Maintenance crews, tow truck drivers and other roadside assistance employees are also at risk.

According to DelDOT, even though traffic volume is much lower due to the pandemic, there have been 91 car fatalities in 2020 through October 1st – just three fewer than in 2019. Nineteen pedestrians have been killed in that same time frame.

Can the worker file a workers’ compensation claim against his/her employer?

Employees can file a Delaware workers’ compensation claim if they are hurt while doing their job on or near a roadway. Employees should seek payment for all their medical bills and their fair share of lost income. In Delaware, workers are generally entitled to about 2/3 of their lost wages.

There are a few caveats:

  • Independent contractors cannot file a workers’ compensation case because they are not employees
  • Injured employees cannot seek compensation for their pain and suffering from their employer
  • Government employees in certain sectors may need to file through a different compensation program

The good news is that injured employees do not need to prove their employment caused the accident.

Can the roadside assistance worker file a personal injury claim against the negligent driver?

Both injured employees and independent contractors can file a personal injury claim against the careless driver. You will need to prove fault. In most cases, it should be fairly clear that the driver wasn’t paying attention or was speeding.

In personal injury cases, the injured worker can claim:

  • Medical expenses, including hospitals bill and treatments
  • All of his/her lost wages
  • Property losses, if the vehicles damaged belonged to the injured person
  • Pain and suffering

At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our Delaware roadside accident lawyers are experienced at both personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims. We’ll explain which claim applies to your case. We work with your doctors to show how serious and life-altering your injuries are. We fight to get you full compensation for all your medical expenses. We demand compensation for your financial losses and, in personal injury cases, for your daily aches, pains, and misery. For help with any workplace accident or car accident, please call us at 302.888.2900 or fill out our contact form to discuss your legal rights. We have offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.