When a flatbed tractor-trailer rear-ended a bus on U,S. 64 in Edgecombe County, North Carolina (NC), 26 workers suffered injuries. The crash occurred near the town of Tarboro at around 6 am on September 21, 2015. The bus was being used to transport crews to a construction site.
According to information released by the State Highway Patrol, the truck driver had been speeding and failed to slow down in time to avoid hitting the bus when traffic conditions changed. Police cited the truck operator for causing the wreck and for not having a commercial driver's license. Most of the injuries were not life-threatening, but two of the victims had to be flown to a major medical center for emergency treatment.
The injured construction workers appear to have strong grounds for seeking both workers' compensation during the period they are unable to work and for filing insurance claims against both the flatbed driver and the company that employed him. Workers' comp cover injuries incurred while traveling in work vehicles and for employment purposes.
The truck's driver would bear liability for making compensation and paying damages because the speeding and failure to slow citations indicate either negligence or recklessness. Where the trucker's company would have liability would be negligently allowing him to operate the flatbed despite lacking the proper training and state endorsements. Companies that do not ensure that their employees know how to do their jobs without putting themselves and others at risk can be held accountable for neglecting essential duties of care.
One consideration the injured construction workers will want to take is that payments from workers' comp and insurance policies often duplicate benefits. The state government program often seeks repayment from insurance settlements and court awards. To ensure that such matters get handled appropriately, the injured workers would do well to consult with an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer.