During morning rush hour in the Liberty Tunnels in Pittsburgh on March 14, a vehicle hit a worker for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, or PennDOT. The vehicle had moved into the traffic around a single-vehicle accident inside the tunnels. The driver who hit the worker immediately fled the crime scene at high speed. This incident caused several miles of traffic congestion. Various emergency vehicles, including an ambulance, tow trucks, fire engines and cars from the Pittsburgh police department, completely blocked the tunnel’s outbound left lane.
According to law enforcement officials, the injured worker was later transported to Mercy Hospital. Although the victim was in stable condition, he suffered injuries to his left leg as a result of this workplace accident. Police are currently searching for the individual who reportedly caused his injuries while driving a 2010 four-door Dodge.
Although this worker was injured on the road, he was in the course of his professional duties. As a result, he may be eligible for some form of workers’ compensation from his employer in addition to any legal damages that he might be awarded from the driver who struck him.
Workplace injuries vary, but as this case demonstrates, they aren’t always the direct fault of the employer. A further accident investigation by the police or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration may discover steps that PennDOT could have taken in advance in order to make the situation safer for the worker. Until such investigations take place, the worker may be forced to file a compensation claim without knowing whether or not it will be successful. When faced with such circumstances, many injured workers seek legal assistance to improve their chances of winning damage awards. Workers who have been injured at work may find it helpful to consult a workplace accident attorney.
Source: WTAE Pittsburgh, “PennDOT worker struck at Liberty Tunnels by hit-and-run driver,” March 14, 2013