Boston Road Worker Accident Attorney
Highways, bridges, tunnels, and other road surfaces undergoing construction can be hazardous not only to drivers passing through these construction zones but also to road workers.
Each year, more than 100 workers are killed from accidents at road construction sites, and thousands suffer serious and debilitating injuries.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman in Boston have been advocating for road workers and other construction workers for more than two decades. We understand that construction workers place themselves at risk every time they lace up their boots and report to a job site.
If you've suffered a serious injury in a road work accident, we will fight to make sure that you receive every dollar you're owed and that all responsible parties pay the price for their negligence. Our law firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don't pay a dime until we recover money for you.
Road worker accident cases can be time-sensitive, especially if government entities are involved. To optimize your chance of a successful outcome, it's crucial that you contact an experienced construction zone accident attorney as soon as possible.The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman Can Help with a Road Worker Accident Claim
Road work crew members injured on the job are entitled to benefits under the Massachusetts workers' compensation system. The system is a no-fault one, which means that workers are entitled to workers' compensation benefits regardless of who's at fault for the accident. For more information about workers' compensation benefits in the state, visit mass.gov.
Under Massachusetts laws, an injured worker is entitled to receive lost wages and medical treatment coverage. Our law firm can help you file a workers' compensation claim and handle any disputes that might arise. It's not uncommon for employers and their insurance carriers to argue that a worker's injury didn't happen at work, is not as severe as claimed, or is the result of a preexisting condition.
Our attorneys can also help a family member of a deceased road worker recover death benefits for a fatal construction zone accident.
In addition to filing for workers' compensation benefits, an injured worker might be able to bring other legal claims and recover additional compensation. For example, a worker might be able to sue a negligent motorist who hit him in a work zone or a construction company (one that didn't employ the worker) for violating safety regulations and maintaining a hazardous job site. Safety inspection companies, subcontractors, equipment rental companies, other road crew members, property owners, and government agencies are some parties that are often liable in connection with road work accidents.
A construction accident attorney will review the specific facts of your accident, investigate to identify all potentially liable parties, and advise on the best legal course of action to recover maximum compensation for your injury.
If you've been injured in a road work accident, there are some steps that you can take in addition to obtaining legal representation to help your case and boost your chance of success.
If possible, take pictures of your injury, the accident site, and any safety violations that can be documented through a photo. Obtain contact information for any accident witnesses at the scene, including motorists and other workers. You might have a hard time getting in touch with a subcontractor's employee after the accident, so it's always a good idea to obtain witness information at the time of the accident.
Most importantly, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Any delays could negatively affect your recovery. A delay may also lead to an employer or insurance company arguing that your injury wasn't caused by the work accident. Continue to take photos of your injury throughout the recovery process. Photographic evidence can be of great value, especially if the case is disputed.
Vehicles Cause Most Road Worker Accidents
The bulk of road worker accidents are caused by vehicles—both passenger vehicles passing through the construction zone and construction vehicles such as dump trucks, pavers, and cranes performing work at the job site. While all road crew members are at risk of injury, those on foot, or pedestrian workers, are most at risk.
Work zone injuries caused by motorists are often the result of speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Vehicles backing up can be especially dangerous to pedestrian workers, and these accidents account for a large number of road crew member fatalities. Dump trucks, in particular, are involved in a large number of road worker accidents. Large construction vehicles have large blind spots, which often contribute to work zones accidents involving pedestrian workers. Spotters can be used to direct the movement of all heavy machinery and avoid incidents.
Here's a list of some other common causes of road worker injuries:
- Workers coming into contact with objects or equipment, including overhead high-voltage power lines
- Slips, trips, and falls, including falls from machinery and scaffolding
- Overexertion from performing tasks that require repetitive movements
- Exposure to dangerous substances such as asphalt fumes and silica dust, both of which are believed to cause cancer
- Gas line explosions
- Being hit by falling objects
Workers involved in construction zone accidents can suffer a wide range of injuries, including burns, shock, electrocution, broken bones, spine and neck injuries, paralysis, amputation, brain injuries, and lacerations.
The good news is that many of these injuries are preventable with the implementation of proper safety measures, including fall protection equipment and communication systems at the worksite. Workers should wear earplugs or protective earmuffs to protect themselves from hearing loss and other damage caused by loud noises present at construction sites. Employers are required by law to pay for personal protective equipment for employees, with a few exceptions.An Overview of Road Worker Accident Statistics
- According tothe Massachusetts Department of Transportation, 14 road workers were killed from 2009 to 2016, and in 2018 there were 15 accidents in work zones located throughout the state. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted the following statistics on road worker accident injuries nationally: From 2003 to 2017, 1,844 workers died from injuries sustained in road construction accidents.
- Vehicles that are backing up are responsible for about 25% of transportation events resulting in worker fatalities in a work zone in which travel direction was noted.
- From 2011 to 2017, transportation-related events comprised 76% of fatal occupational injuries in road work zones. In 60% of these accidents, the worker was hit by a vehicle in the work zone.
The types of vehicles involved in transportation events from 2011 to 2017 in roadside construction zones include:
- Pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles, which were responsible for 151 deaths
- Machinery was to blame for 131 deaths
- Cars were responsible for 129 deaths
- Semi-trucks were to blame for 124 deaths
- Dump trucks were responsible for 82 deaths
From 2003 to 2017, 67% of work-related deaths at road work sites involved workers in the following occupations:
- Construction laborers, including flaggers (473 fatalities)
- Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers (250 fatalities)
- Construction equipment operators (200 fatalities)
- First-line supervisors of construction workers (163 fatalities)
- Highway maintenance workers (142 fatalities)
Fortunately, there are steps that construction companies and others responsible for job site safety can take to keep road construction zones safe for workers.
The American Society of Safety Professionals offers these tips on mitigating work zone accidents:
* Create a traffic control plan that takes into consideration the normal flow of traffic and how construction activities will interfere with that flow. A good plan will include an advance warning area that alerts drivers to upcoming construction, a transition area that directs motorists from their normal path, a construction activity area with a buffer between the work being performed and traffic, and a termination area in which motorists return to their normal travel path.
* Barriers should be erected that protect workers and motorists. Cones, barrels, and barricades are often used for this purpose. Special barriers may be needed in tunnels and on bridges and where work will be performed over a long period of time.
* Workers should wear high-visibility safety equipment. There should be an illumination plan for work being performed at night. Flaggers should be positioned in a spot that makes them visible to motorists.
* Intrusion alert technologies can alert workers to intrusions in a work zone.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a Fact Sheet on Work Zone Traffic Safety. In addition to some of the safety measures mentioned above, OSHA suggests that signs and traffic control devices be used to alert and direct travelers, flaggers be trained in signaling methods, and machinery be outfitted with seatbelts and rollover protection equipment.
Flaggers should have a warning system to alert other workers of a motorist not following directions and other dangers.
To learn more about how our work injury attorneys can help you with your road worker accident claim, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.