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Work zone auto accidents, injuries a concern across the state

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2021 | Workers Compensation |

Two common ways in which Pennsylvanians are injured is in an auto accident and a workplace accident. When the circumstances combine and people are working in an area where automobiles must pass seemingly nonstop, that tends to increase the danger. This is an ongoing challenge for workers who are employed in road work zones. While on the job, they will face the natural risks of construction work and the chance that vehicles will crash into their equipment and hit workers. Despite steps taken to address this problem, workers should be aware of what to do if they are injured and how to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

PennDOT is concerned about work zone accidents

Three recent accidents in state work zones led the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to issue a reminder that drivers should make sure to be safe in these areas. Road work is ramping up. This is especially true for the summer as repairs and improvements need to be made to enhance safety. Drivers are being advised to maintain a reasonable speed, pay attention to the road and behave conscientiously.

Statistically, there were more than 1,750 work zone accidents across the state in 2020. In those accidents, 15 people died. There have been 89 PennDOT workers who lost their lives in the past 50 years. In one specific district – District 1 – there were 14 vehicles intruding work zones in the last year. Three of these intrusions led to worker injuries. Fines are doubled for drivers who go beyond the speed limit for work zones. The amount is contingent on how far beyond the speed limit the driver was going. A driver who seriously injures a worker may be fined up to $5,000 and have the driver’s license suspended for six months. If a worker is killed, the fine could be up to $10,000 and the suspension for one year. Lesser violations like not turning on headlights will also result in a fine.

Workers who are injured need medical care and experienced advice

The penalties are designed to dissuade drivers from committing infractions, but many drivers flout the law. People who have suffered workplace injuries in any type of job should know about the availability of workers’ compensation and how it might help them. This can cover for medical care, lost income and long-term disability. Still, there could be disagreements as to the extent of the injury, the level of care, rehabilitation, how long the worker should be off the job, and if there should be benefits paid at all. Having trustworthy and caring assistance is a priority from the beginning and can help with being approved for workers’ compensation.