Most Common Road Construction Accidents
It seems like road construction is a never-ending need. More than 20,000 people die every year on American highways; both increase the need for more construction to provide safer roads and more risk with more workers on the road. And many drivers get short on patience when road work slows traffic. That creates a dangerous situation for the workers whose jobs are on those roads.
Why do Road Construction Zones Increase Accidents?
There are many factors at play in work zones. Low visibility and changing traffic patterns due to lane closures can make it difficult to see where to go. These risks increase at night and in inclement weather. The temper of impatient drivers is certainly one, but not all work zone accidents are caused by road rage.
Add to that; there is often short notice for merging and plenty of extra construction vehicles milling around. Drivers can easily be caught off guard by rough surfaces, narrow lanes, and all the activity going on around them. For road construction workers, this means being extra vigilant about roadway safety.
Related: What is a Qualified Medical Evaluator
The most common causes of work-zone accidents include:
- Accidental Contact with Construction Barriers
- Inattentive Drivers
- Changing Traffic Patterns & Work Vehicles
- Construction Debris or Road Materials
Common Work Zone Injuries for Road Construction Workers
Hands down, the most common injury reported by road construction workers is being hit by a moving vehicle. It’s a high-risk profession. Construction alone accounts for 20% of all workplace deaths. There were fewer drivers on the road during the pandemic, so we’ll take a look back at 2019 to provide a typical risk assessment for work zone injuries.
In 2019 there were 842 work zone fatalities involving drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. These numbers were up 11% over the previous year, and at least 140 of them were construction workers. And that doesn’t include the number of lost-time injuries that did not result in death.
Aside from being hit by a car, other common causes for work zone injuries include:
- Crush Injuries
- Accidents Involving Heavy Machinery
Related: How Long Does a Workers’ Compensation Claim Take?
Whose Fault is a Road Construction Injury?
US employers are federally-mandated to participate in worker’s compensation insurance programs. This means that if you’re injured at work, insurance is in place to cover the expenses. However, road construction workers at a high risk of severe injury should know that there are limits on insurance policies.
Workers’ Compensation alone may not be enough. They may provide coverage for medical bills and lost wages, but it still may be necessary to pursue a personal injury claim. You may not be able to sue your employer directly; that’s the protection benefit of the Workers’ Compensation program in most states. But you could sue a negligent driver or a construction company if their driver was at fault.
If you’re struggling to get the benefits you’re entitled to after an injury at work, Invictus Law can help. Our Orange County law firm has helped recover more than $14 million in compensation and benefits. Don’t suffer more than you have to; give our firm a call today.
What to Do if You’re Injured at Work
If you’re injured in a work zone accident, get the medical treatment you need first. Medical care is often urgent in these situations, plus you’ll need a diagnosis and treatment plan for Workers’ Compensation and any other legal action you may take. Collect as much documentation as possible, including medical records of your treatment, photos of the accident scene, and an injury report from your employer. You’ll need to notify your employer if you’re involved in a workplace accident. But it’s also a good idea to consult a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer about your rights.
Related: What Constitutes an Unsafe Work Environment?
Frequently Asked Questions About Road Construction Accidents
A workplace injury brings up a lot of questions, and many employees are not sure of their rights. Here’s what you need to know.
Do I get full pay if I get injured at work?
Typically the answer is no. There may be variations at the state level, but most injured employees can expect to receive at least partial compensation. There are usually established minimums and maximums based on your regular salary and the insurance provider.
Who will pay me if I get injured at work?
Your employer is required to carry Workers’ Compensation insurance which includes a component to cover partial wage compensation for lost-time accidents. This insurance will cover a portion of your salary while you are off work.
How much do you get paid for an injury at work?
Your employer is not required to compensate you for a workplace injury. You are only entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits which are based on your regular salary. However, you may be able to pursue legal action against certain parties for pain and suffering. It’s best to consult a knowledgeable workplace injury attorney.
Can you be fired for being injured on the job?
No, not directly. One protection offered by Workers’ Compensation is that employers cannot retaliate against an injured employer. However, the extent of your injuries and your ability to recover may eventually result in a change in your employment status. This would be a ‘what if’ scenario that occurs farther down the road with documented limitations on the improvement of your condition. At that point, your case would transition from a Workers’ Compensation claim to a disability claim.
How Invictus Law Can Help You Navigate Your Injury Claim
When you’re injured, the last thing you have time to do is collect documentation and fight with your employer to pay your medical bills are entitled to. Invictus Law is a leading Workers’ Compensation specialist in Orange County. With more than three decades of experience, we’ve helped our clients recover millions.
Let our expert legal team manage the claim process to ensure you don’t miss a deadline. We’ll help you get what you’re entitled to. Call our office for a consultation.