A Pennsylvania man, originally from another country, recently pleaded guilty to DUI-related charges that could severely affect the remainder of his life. The charges followed a serious car accident in a construction zone last year. It was reported that the man traveled in a lane that was closed off due to ongoing construction activities, where he knocked over one construction worker and narrowly missed another. He then smashed into a construction vehicle.
The driver apparently exited his vehicle and walked off but was apprehended a short distance away. Authorities subjected the man to blood alcohol tests and determined that the alcohol content in his blood was more than double the legal limit. The injured worker, who reportedly landed about 15 feet away from where he was hit by the pickup truck, suffered severe injuries to his head and his hand.
After pleading guilty, some of the charges were dismissed, but the Assistant District Attorney said that the charges to which he pleaded guilty could lead to combined penalties of up to 17 years behind bars, and fines and costs could total over $40,000. She stated that he also faces possible deportation to Russia, his home country. As part of the deal negotiated with the prosecutors, the driver agreed to pay the restitution and all the laboratory costs in the case. The man is free on bail while he awaits the sentencing hearing that is scheduled for August.
The injured victim in the above case would likely be able to claim compensatory benefits from the workers' compensation fund. However, individuals in Pennsylvania who have suffered personal injury in a serious car accident, which was caused by the negligence of another party, retain the right to file a personal injury claim in a civil court. If this pursuit of compensation for medical expenses is successfully presented, the court may award monetary judgment in recovery of damages incurred.
Source: goerie.com, "Erie man pleads guilty to charges in work site crash", Tim Hahn, July 10, 2014