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Road Construction Company Pays $1.65 Million to Settle Construction Zone Accident in Manistee, Michigan That Caused Catastrophic Injury to Local Teen

September 10, 2015

During the early evening rush hour of August 1, 2013, a road construction company blocked and backed up northbound traffic on US Highway 31 in Manistee, Michigan, congesting the nearby intersection of a cross street. Traffic traveling west on the cross street came to the highway intersection and found it clogged by a cavalcade of stopped or slow-moving northbound trucks, motorhomes, campers, SUVs, and automobiles. The bumper-to-bumper cavalcade obstructed all sightlines beyond it for motorists traveling west on the cross street, obscuring the presence and movements of vehicles in the southbound lane of the highway. Besides congesting the intersection and shrouding southbound traffic from view, the construction company, C & D Hughes Inc., chose not to put a traffic regulator or employ other measures to coordinate or direct safe vehicle travel through the junction.

Consequently, when a 16-year-old driver, Breanna Woroniak, reached the intersection, the backup of vehicles obstructed her views of traffic in the southbound lane of the highway. After stopping at the intersection and waiting 10 to 15 minutes for her turn to safely cross, Breanna eventually followed the vehicle ahead into the intersection. When she did, a southbound automobile broadsided her car at 45 mph as it crossed US Highway 31. Breanna sustained severe and permanently disabling injuries.

Breanna’s father, a seasoned and well-informed sheriff deputy, hired the Buchanan Firm team to represent his daughter in a civil lawsuit against the road construction company.

After a year gathering key evidence and taking testimony from accident witnesses, Buchanan Firm presented the evidence at a May 2015 case evaluation hearing (i.e., a court-ordered hearing before a full trial). For the hearing, attorney Robert J. Buchanan of the Buchanan law firm used digital video and computer animations to show key evidence and testimony to, and recreate the danger and accident for, the mediation panel (rather than submit a boring written summary like any other Michigan attorney). The concise, high-impact documentary by Mr. Buchanan brought to life the true story of the accident and Breanna’s terrible injuries, and the viewers saw and heard testimony from the actual witnesses. Here is a link to the video:

After watching the Buchanan video, reading the road construction company’s boring written summary, and hearing attorney oral arguments, the case evaluation panel found the construction company at fault for the accident. The panel recommended the defendant pay $1.65 million to reimburse the injured girl’s significant harms and losses. A month later, in June 2015, Robert Buchanan settled the lawsuit for Breanna Woroniak against the road construction firm for $1.65 million. The money will provide care, equipment, and resources the young woman needs.

If you or anyone you know was seriously injured in a road construction area, highway, or roadway accident, please contact the Buchanan Firm law firm. Motor vehicle accident experts at the firm understand what you are going through and will immediately start a full investigation of the accident, determine the cause, and identify those responsible to reimburse you for the harms and losses. Our Michigan car accident lawyers are skilled in motor vehicle accident matters. They successfully negotiate fair settlements with insurance companies and persuasively present cases at trial when insurers refuse to do what is right. The law firm also offers a no-fee promise: If we don’t win, you pay no attorney fee.