Seeing orange barrels and construction signs erected can make drivers feel frustrated. However, all motorists must drive responsibly in construction zones. Anything that impairs their ability to do so, such as the consumption of alcohol, could lead to a catastrophic fatal accident.
Another Orange County drunk driving accident occurred, this time in Santa Ana. The crash left two highway construction workers dead. According to reports, a drunk motorist ran in to a pickup truck that was parked in the road’s bike lane. The two construction workers who died were reportedly in the bike lane erecting warning signs of construction that was taking place down the road. Police say that the man who hit the construction workers had a blood alcohol content of 0.12 percent, which is well over the 0.08 legal limit in California.
While of course there will be a lot more investigation of this tragic fatal car accident, at first blush, this seems to be yet another case of a person who simply ignored the repeated warnings and public service announcements about the dangers of drunk driving. In addition to the criminal penalties he is facing, this man can and should also be held accountable by the families of his victims via a wrongful death lawsuit.
The families of these men may be able to get some benefits through California’s workers’ compensation program, but this will not necessarily cover all of the income the family will lose, and it will not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress. Finally, punitive damages are available in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, but they are not available through workers’ compensation.