Roadside work sites are some of the most dangerous places for construction workers. Every day, pavers, crossing guards, highway maintenance workers, power-line installers, and other roadside workers put their lives on the line in order to earn a living.
According to The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWP), more than 1,000 construction workers lost their lives in 2016. And approximately 103 of those deaths happened on roadside work sites.
Where does the risk exist?
The majority of roadside construction deaths between 2011 and 2016 occurred when pedestrians were struck by motor vehicles. This accounted for more than 50 percent of all fatalities at road construction sites. Approximately 371 deaths occurred within the highway, street, and bridge subsector.
These accidents were caused by:
- Workers struck by forward-moving vehicles – 61.4%
- Workers struck by vehicles backing up – 24.7%
- Workers struck by vehicles propelled by other vehicles in an accident – 9.4%
During the same period, the most fatal time of day for road construction workers was 10 AM to 11:59 AM, which accounted for nearly 20 percent of deaths by incident time. The second most fatal time was 12 PM to 1:59 PM (19.1 percent).
What to do after a roadside construction accident
If you work in roadside construction, it’s important that you understand where and when the risk is likely to exist. At any moment, a fatal accident can occur. Workers who are injured by motor vehicles, or other factors, may sustain severe and debilitating injuries that could leave them out of work for months. This can include head and spine injuries, which can permanently inhibit a worker’s ability to perform his or her job duties.
If you’ve been injured on the job in Columbia you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, filing a claim isn’t easy. Without the legal guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, the state agency responsible for issuing workers’ compensation benefits may offer you a low payout that barely covers your medical expenses and wage reimbursement.
Roadside construction accidents are often not caused by the negligence of another employee or your employer. If your injury was caused by a negligent driver, then you may be eligible for a third-party workplace claim. In contrast to workers’ compensation, which is a no-fault system that only covers wage loss, medical expenses and certain disability benefits, you could be compensated for additional damages including loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.