According to a recent article published by the Baltimore Sun, 54-year-old highway worker John Kahl was struck and killed while working at a construction site on Interstate 695 near Liberty Road in Baltimore County.
In the afternoon of January 31, 2014, Kahl, of Port Deposit, Maryland, was working on a landscaping project commissioned by the State Highway Administration in the area of Pikesville, when a Ford pickup truck lost control and ran off the road. Kahl was clearing trees on the right shoulder of the highway when the truck struck him and the landscaping equipment that he was using at the time. Maryland State Police are investigating the incident, and have not yet determined what caused the truck to swerve off the roadway.
This unfortunate incident is yet another in a recent string of accidents in which Maryland highway workers have been killed while on the job. In November, 50-year-old Maryland State Highway Administration employee Eddie Gilyard was killed while repairing a road sign, when a car veered onto the shoulder and hit him. In June, Eric Meekins, 40, was struck and killed by a vehicle while placing road cones on Route 216 in Howard County. Two workers were killed in January of 2013 in Cecil County when a car swerved into the clearly marked construction area where the men were setting up cones.
A report published the by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") indicates that, between 2007 and 2012, 609 people were killed in highway work zones annually. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 101 worker fatalities at road construction sites in 2008, 116 in 2009, 106 in 2010, 122 in 2011, and 130 in 2012.
Although victims of highway accidents generally have a right to financial compensation through workers' compensation benefits, they may also be able to obtain recovery for their injuries from the negligent driver. When the negligence of a driver results in the death of a highway worker, under Maryland law, the decedent's family may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action.
A wrongful death claim can be brought against anyone who, through recklessness, carelessness, negligence, or lack of skill, causes the fatality of another. Damages in a wrongful death action are measured in terms of the injury to loved ones caused by the death of the victim, and can include loss of future earnings, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.
Sadly, wrongful death actions can arise from a host of unfortunate circumstances, including traffic accidents, medical malpractice (such as through surgical error or misdiagnosis of an illness), defective products, premises liability, or improper supervision.
The qualified attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC have extensive experience representing individuals who have been injured or killed by the negligent acts of another. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of the negligence of another person, contact the attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC today.