Highway construction workers face some of the most dangerous conditions every time they head to work–speeding trucks, distracted driving, drunk driving, and generally reckless drivers can put the lives of construction workers at risk. In a tragic case, a South Carolina member of a highway construction crew was struck in a fatal hit and run accident. According to reports, the crew was re-paving Highway 170 around 2:00 a.m. when a Pontiac came speeding through the work site. The driver crashed into the crew and killed a 53-year-old worker. An immediate investigation was launched to catch and apprehend the driver.
Later in the early morning, a 28-year-old female driver was picked up in a traffic stop. She is being charged with hit and run involving a death and felony DUI, criminal allegations that could result in serious penalties upon conviction. This case is still under investigation and the South Carolina Highway Patrol is encouraging any witnesses or individuals with additional information to come forward.
For safety advocates and the Highway Patrol, the case is a reminder that drivers need to be cautious when entering a highway construction site. Drivers must be careful, especially when approaching scenes in the early morning hours. According to one state trooper, a lot of driver’s get complacent because they see so many construction signs. Many will pass through construction sites at the same speed, without concern for the workers who may be difficult to see. The Highway Patrol is urging drivers to slow down and remember that the crews are out there trying to make the roads safer.
To prevent accidents, driver should always slow down when entering a construction zone. Distracted driving should be avoided at all cost, as even checking your phone or text messages for a few seconds can result in a deadly collision. Drivers should always pay attention to road signs and construction site warnings, and remember that failure to obey road work signs can result in up to $200 in fines and 30 days in jail for speeding. While you could face criminal liability for a construction road sign violation, the most important cause is construction worker safety.
Construction workers who are injured in an accident while on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers do not have to prove that the driver was at fault or driving reckless, only that they were injured while in the “course of performing work-related duties.” Similarly, family members who have lost a loved one in a construction accident, are entitled to collect wrongful death benefits in accordance with their workers’ compensation policy.
In the event of a collision, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Our Charlotte construction injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of innocent workers and their loved ones. In addition to maximizing workers’ compensation benefits, we can assess relevant third-party claims against negligent individuals or entities. This tragic case cost the life of a construction worker and should be a warning to drivers to heed construction site road signs and to remember that crews are putting their lives on the line to improve safety for everyone sharing the road.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Lee Law Offices at 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Average Salaries for the Most Dangerous U.S. Jobs, Oct. 31, 2014, Asheville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog
Graven v. N.C. Dept. of Public Safety – Injuries From Holiday Lunch Accident Not Compensable, Aug. 15, 2014, Charlotte Work Injury Lawyer Blog