Representing Highway Workers Hurt on the Job
With approximately 120,000 miles of state and local highways that must be maintained, Pennsylvania roads are often under construction. The brave workers who fix our state roadways are at risk of being injured in work zone accidents due to the inherently dangerous conditions of the job site. The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. help those injured in work zone crashes obtain maximum benefits for their injuries.
Work Zones are Dangerous for Workers
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports that 43 percent of work zone crashes in 2017 involved injuries or fatalities. According to PennDOT, state highways (including state-maintained roads that are not designated as interstates) are the most dangerous, followed by interstates, the turnpike, and local roads.
Causes of Work Zone Accidents
One work zone fatality occurs for every four billion vehicle-miles of travel, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Construction workers and other employees at road construction sites may be seriously injured or killed when drivers fail to follow safety precautions around work zones or when proper safety precautions are not taken at the work site. Some common causes of work zone accidents affecting highway workers include:
- Distracted driving – Drivers who are not paying attention may not notice signs for upcoming construction, gradually-narrowing lanes, or detours. Consequently, they may crash into work zones, injuring workers on site.
- Obstacles/Debris – Road debris and other obstacles in the road may cause drivers to accidentally veer into a work zone. Distracted drivers may also fail to notice barricades or other intentionally-placed road obstacles.
- Speeding – There are typically signs informing drivers of upcoming work zones and advising them of lowered speed limits. Drivers who continue to drive at the normal rate of speed may not be able to slow down in time to avoid a work zone crash.
- Runovers/Backovers – Workers may be run over or backed over by construction vehicles. Workers who are inattentive or inadequately trained are most likely to cause such a heavy machinery accident.
- Caught-in or between – According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this is one of the top four fatal causes of construction worker deaths. When workers become caught in between heavy objects and equipment at work zones, they typically suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Work Zone Injuries
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that, during a five-year period, Pennsylvania was among the four states with the most fatal injuries at road work zones. In 2017, there were 1,778 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania alone, 19 of which were fatal. Those injured in work zone accidents may also suffer non-fatal injuries including:
- Amputations – Body parts that become severed in a work zone accident or wounds that become infected may require a worker to have an amputation. This type of traumatic injury may occur to one limb, both limbs on one side of the body, or limbs on opposite sides of the body.
- Broken bones/fractures – Work zones contain many types of hazardous objects which, if dropped on a worker, can cause injuries including broken bones or fractures. Workers may also suffer these types of injuries in vehicle pedestrian accidents.
- Spinal cord injuries – Road construction workers are vulnerable to traffic and may become struck by vehicles moving at fast rates of speed. These types of accidents may cause workers to sustain catastrophic injuries such as paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – Construction workers are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as hard hats to protect them from injury. However, these protections may not be enough to protect against the impact caused by a vehicle collision and workers may suffer concussions or TBIs as a result.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Seek Compensation for Those Injured in Work Zone Accidents
If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We can help you recover benefits for your injuries which may include medical expense and lost wage compensation, vocational rehabilitation assistance, and specific loss benefits. Our attorneys have over 35 years of experience representing injured workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today.
From our offices in Philadelphia, Lansdowne, Bensalem and Reading, we represent clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, including those in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, as well as in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.