County DOT Settles Lawsuit over Negligence

County DOT Settles Lawsuit over Negligence

In a settlement, The King County Department of Transportation has agreed to pay $3 million to a woman who was involved in an accident that caused her permanent disability. She claims the Department of Transportation acted negligently creating unsafe driving conditions.

According to the woman’s attorney, Mike Nelson, the county was told by a policeman about the unsafe conditions caused a county dump truck and loader parked near an intersection. The officer told the DOT to use a flagger, which is mandated by guidelines. The DOT ignored the guidelines and did not follow the instructions.

The Incident

Frances Rader was driving on January 11 when she was broadsided by a vehicle approaching the intersection. The driver of the vehicle that hit her had his vision obscured by the dump truck and loader that were parked on the side of the road, and as a result, did not see Rader’s car in time. The impact caused Rader’s car to leave the road and smash into a tree.

“For whatever reason, the county ignored the directive given by the Sammamish police, a decision that resulted in horrible injuries to Frances, and lasting damage to her and her family,” Nelson said.

Instead of getting help, the DOT workers left the scene of the accident, removing evidence of their obstruction.

The Aftermath

Rader sustained a serious brain injury, and a severe head laceration. She also fractured two of her vertebrae. The injuries have left Rader permanently disabled.

Rader has not been able to return to her job, and has had to undergo many surgeries to repair spinal injuries, she suffered a life-threatening infection at the hospital, and she now suffers from chronic pain.

“The county let its citizens down by taking a safe roadway and making it dangerous,” Nelson said. “If the county had followed orders and used a flagger, this accident would not have happened.”

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