Car Accident Dangers for Roadside Construction Workers
If a construction site is anywhere near a road, there’s always the chance of an erratic driver making a bad decision and causing an accident. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 70,000 work-zone accidents occur each year. Although the majority of these accidents aren’t fatal, a great many cause serious injuries to both vehicle passengers and construction workers alike.
The Peril to Road Construction Workers
The threat of a car accident is an unfortunate reality for many roadside construction workers. It’s not just that they work right next to active highways, streets, and intersections—these workers are also required to interact directly with moving vehicles. Therefore, as a construction worker, it’s crucial that you not only know your dangers but also be able to recognize any and all possible threats around you.
Duties that increase accident risks include:
- Holding traffic signs. The job of holding a stop or slow sign to control construction traffic may seem like the easiest job you can have on-site. However, although easy, it’s also one of the most dangerous. First of all, you’re the first defense for your fellow workers. This means that your presence is the first warning vehicles have that they need to drive with caution. When a driver fails to heed that warning, you’re the first to risk the consequences. Second, when holding the sign, you decrease your motion. Instead of moving about and drawing attention to yourself like your fellow workers, you’re standing still as a pole. As a result, drivers may not recognize that you’re even there. Third, your job is to make sure that the approaching drivers see your sign (if not you). This means that you may be forced to get close to (if not immediately in front of) approaching vehicles.
- Laying reflective markers or picking up debris. When picking objects off the road or placing objects on the road, your focus is placed not on the dangers around you, but the ground. This places you at an increased risk for suffering injuries, as you’ll be unable to react to potential threats.
- Surveying construction sites. Surveyors often must cross busy streets to take measurements and inspect finished projects. In addition to crossing traffic and placing themselves near the edge of the road, the slightest trip could force them into traffic unexpectedly.
Options for Roadside Accident Compensation
After seeking medical attention, you are going to want to talk to your employer and file a workers’ compensation claim immediately. Workers’ compensation should cover your medical expenses and any lost wages due to the accident. Texas no-fault laws guarantee your coverage even if you were offsite or partially to blame for the accident, as long as it occurred in the line of duty.
If the accident was not your fault, you may also have the option to seek additional compensation by pursuing a personal injury claim against the person who was responsible. Depending on the circumstances, you might also have the option to file an injury claim against liable third parties, such as a driver who hit you.
Juggling a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim at the same time can be complicated. To ease the confusion and increase your chance of success, you should seek the support of an attorney who practices both workers’ compensation and personal injury law. He’ll understand how the two cases connect, and what should be done to give you the best possible outcome.
Not sure who to trust with your delicate claim? Contact attorney Steve Lee today to schedule your FREE consultation, and see if his legal know-how is a good fit for you. You can also browse our collection of past client evaluations to get an unbiased opinion of the dedication and respect we provide to all of our clients.