A wrongdoer may cause a vehicular accident but at the same time get seriously injured himself. The serious injury or death of the wrongdoer will not stop the victims from their right to recover for personal injury damages. With respect to car accidents in California, the victims may make a claim for compensation for their injuries against the tortfeasor even if he is arrested due to criminal recklessness in the accident.
In fact, if the tortfeasor dies in the accident, the injured victims may make their claims to the decedent’s estate. Recently in the state, a motorist traveling west on Avenue K at 20th Street East left the roadway and struck and seriously injured a Southern California Edison worker. The victim was repairing a power box when he got hit, according to Los Angeles County Detectives.
The worker was transported to a hospital in critical condition. The driver of the car, however, was declared dead at the scene. It is unknown why the driver lost control of his vehicle, but toxicology tests and an autopsy, required in cases like this, will reveal possible facts regarding that issue. Other than those tools, the investigators will use forensic techniques to learn as much about the cause of the accident as is possible.
The seriously injured victim was working at the time, making this likely a workers’ compensation claim for medical expenses and lost wage benefits. As a general rule, the collection of workers’ compensation benefits from the employer does not preclude the victim from making a claim for damages over and above the benefits paid. In this case, the injured worker may pursue a third party claim for pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, any medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity not covered by workers’ compensation. Victims of car accidents are best served by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible under the circumstances.
Source: dailynews.com, “Southern California Edison worker who died in Lancaster crash is identified“, Oct. 1, 2016