Highway Contractor dinged $11M for Causing Car Accident. An $11M settlement was reached between a highway maintenance contractor, a woman, and the estate of her late husband following a fatal car accident. The contractor company, Lovin Contracting, was hired by the Georgia Department of Transportation to mow the grass along Ga. 4, a four-lane highway in Charlton county, Georgia.
Contracting Company Causes Fatal Crash Due to Sudden Lane Closures
On April 22, 2019, Herman Jones, 66, and Beverly Henry-Jones, 58, were driving back to Hartford, Connecticut after having visited Disney World with their children and grandchildren. Lovin Contracting had a contractor crew cutting the grass on the highway at the time, and they blocked the two northbound lanes of the four-lane highway.
This was a violation of the Department of Transportation’s own contractor rules, which does not allow lane closures that block two–way traffic without prior approval. The lane closure caused a severe traffic slowdown, and a logging truck didn’t slow down in time. The truck lost control, jack-knifing and slamming into the back of the Jones’ 1994 Lexus ES 300.
A Newly Married Couple with Severe Injuries and Death
Herman Jones was killed in the accident, and Beverly Henry-Jones was left with permanent disability. She suffered several serious injuries, including acute kidney failure, a crushed lung, as well as multiple broken bones in her back, right shoulder, clavicle, and scapula.
Herman and Beverly had only been married for two years at the time of the crash, and Herman adopted Beverly’s children and grandchildren as he’d never had any children of his own. Herman had been a car mechanic at a car dealership, and Beverly was a nurse. She quit her job following the severity of her injuries making it difficult to work.
Wrongful Death and Injury Case Settles for Insurance Limits
The legal team representing Henry-Jones and her late husband were able to settle with Lovin Contracting for $11M based on its insurance policy limits, as well as with the driver of the logging truck for an undisclosed amount.
Common Cause of Highway Accidents
Highway lane closures due to contracting work or construction are a common factor in highway crashes. In 2021, crashes due to work zones killed 244 people, a 33% increase year over year.
Texas is the Leader in Work Zone Fatalities
Texas sadly has more work zone fatalities than any other state in the nation – at around 150 deaths per year. There are more than 1,000 active work zones over more than 79,000 miles of road space at any given time – and a Texas driver will encounter a work zone every 60-70 miles.
The majority of deaths were the drivers and passengers of the vehicles, but 38 pedestrians, 4 cyclists, and 3 construction workers were also included in the deaths last year. The cause of the accidents was inattention and speeding, which led to an inability to stop in time.
In the case of an accident in a work zone, the contractor, other drivers, or both may be at fault. In this case, the contractor was found to have been breaching clear standards of conduct provided by the state – but in most cases, the fault will likely lie with the other driver.
Injured in a Car Wreck? Contact Us Today
Traffic-related injuries and fatalities are a huge problem nationwide and are especially common in Texas. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car or truck accident it can be difficult to know what to do next, but if you’ve suffered because of another’s irresponsible driving, you should retain a lawyer to help recover your damages.
Contact Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm to receive a free consultation from an experienced attorney. There are no upfront costs: the cost of representation will only apply in the case of recovery, or winning your case.
If you found this article informative, feel free to let us know by leaving us a like and sharing on social media.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.