February 28, 2017

Injury claim alleges street-sweeper vehicle caused serious injury

A Denver cyclist recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the city claiming a street-sweeper machine caused his serious injuries in a bizarre case of road rage by the vehicle operator. The suit alleges the driver intended to cause “harmful physical contact” and that the city was negligent in its training and supervision of the employee.

According to a report by the Washington Post, the cyclist attempted to pass the street-sweeper at low speeds to avoid the clouds of dust and debris kicked up by the machine’s operation. However, every time the cyclist attempted to overtake the vehicle the driver sped up to equal the bicycle.

Eventually, as both actors increased their speed, the street-sweeper turned his vehicle to face the oncoming cyclist and smashed into the victim, sending the plaintiff flying through the air and into a nearby gutter. The plaintiff claims he suffered several serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury, cracked ribs, and a fractured sacrum at the base of his spine.

The plaintiffs previously filed a Notice of Claim with the city to resolve the incident out of court but the city rebuffed that attempt. The lawsuit seeks $116,072 to cover the plaintiff’s medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and attorneys’ fees.

What is a negligent hiring, retention, and supervision lawsuit?

The suit names not only the street-sweeper operator but also Denver itself over claims the city failed to properly train and supervise its employee. When victims suffer injury at the hands of a company’s agent (employee), the law gives plaintiffs legal remedy to hold the defendant and its corporate entity responsible for negligence in hiring, retention, and supervision.

Often times, companies do not properly screen, train, and supervise workers to the degree expected by the law. For example, the law expects companies looking to hire vehicle operators would screen out candidates with questionable driving records or a history of road rage.

Furthermore, when employers become aware of an employee’s improper or potentially dangerous behavior, the expects companies to retain the worker or cut employment ties with the  individual altogether (retention). While specific statutes vary from state to state, our laws generally hold employers responsible when these entities refuse to address their employee’s negligent conduct.

Can I sue the city if an employee hurts me?

As a law firm committed to public safety and holding powerful entities accountable for negligent acts, The Cochran Firm, D.C. regularly represents the legal interest of victims harmed by the careless actions of government employee. Many municipalities (including the federal government) have complicated claims processes plaintiffs must exhaust before filing a formal personal injury lawsuit.

Fortunately, our Washington, DC law firm is experienced with filing Notice of Claims with Washington, DC and works diligently to secure a favorable outcome for injury victims. If you or a loved one suffered a serious personal injury, contact our office for a free, confidential legal consultation and find out what compensation you may be entitled to.