As you may have noticed, there has been a lot of road construction taking place in New Orleans recently. Although roadway maintenance and improvements are necessary, and in many cases a welcomed change, it can be quite frustrating. The increased congestion, traffic and obstructed sightlines are often dangerous, especially when drivers are suddenly faced with unfamiliar territory.
Furthermore, pedestrian walkways are frequently affected, and pedestrians are sometimes forced to walk among the dust and automobile traffic, increasing the likelihood of pedestrian accident injuries. Work zone pedestrian accidents are also common for the workers themselves. While steps are taken to prevent these accidents, they still occur frequently.
What Factors Lead to Construction Zone Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
Vehicles or mobile equipment accidents lead to many work zone pedestrian injuries or fatalities. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports 140 fatal accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists in work zones in 2019.
Based on a report given by Tracy Scriba entitled, “What We Know About Work Zone Fatalities (and What We Don’t),” there were 720 fatal work zone accident injuries in 2008. Of these 720 work zone fatalities, the following were factors:
- Lack of seatbelt use (388 or 53%)
- Speeding (225 or 31%)
- Alcohol (146 or 20%)
- Time of day: 60% daytime (6am-9pm) and 40% nighttime (9pm-6am)
- Day of week: Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday most often
- Time of year: Summer and fall (June, September, and October most often)
Additionally, 22% of fatal work zone accident injuries occurred on urban interstates, and 59% occurred on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or more.
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How do Construction Zones Protect Workers from Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires traffic controls identified by signs, cones, barrels, and barriers in work zones. Drivers, employees on foot, and pedestrians must be able to see and understand the proper routes so they can avoid pedestrian accident injuries.
Many safety measures focus on protecting workers in the construction zone from vehicle traffic. This is a primary concern for OSHA, law enforcement agencies, and the groups doing the work.
Clearly, it is important for all involved—pedestrians, work zone employees, and drivers— to focus diligently on safety in work zones. If everyone can heed the regulations and recommended best practices, statistics may improve in the future.
How Are Pedestrians Protected in Road Work Construction Zones?
Companies that require obstructing sidewalks and other pedestrian areas for construction must consider the safety of those who generally walk in that area. They should use clear signage that indicates an appropriate alternative route, such as crossing the road at a crosswalk to avoid the work zone. In addition, there must be warnings for drivers, so they know where to expect pedestrians.
This is true whether the construction occurs on the road, shoulder, or nearby. It is the company’s responsibility whether they are a government agency, a company with a government contract, or someone working on private property.
If pedestrians must walk through or adjacent to the work zone, the company may construct a protected walkway using scaffolding, wood, and other materials. This is especially important in areas with cranes and other equipment working overhead or nearby.
What Rights do You Have If You Were Hurt in a Pedestrian Work Zone Accident?
Depending on the facts of your work zone pedestrian accident case, you may have a claim against the agency or company doing the work, the driver who hit you, or both. If another party’s negligence caused your pedestrian accident, you have a right to pursue compensation by holding that party—or parties—legally responsible for the injuries, losses, and expenses you incurred.
Since you may be fighting a corporation, government agency, or multiple liable parties, you may choose to work with a pedestrian accident lawyer who can manage your claims. Having a personal injury law firm on your side will let you focus on your health while they take steps that include:
- Investigating what happened and the potentially liable parties
- Identifying the plan for pedestrians and how the area was marked
- Interviewing witnesses
- Gathering evidence
- Documenting damages
- Preparing and filing claims
- Representing your best interests
In cases where a government entity is involved, there may be special rules in place. This could include very short timelines for notifying them about potential lawsuits.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Your attorney may be able to recover compensation for you through a settlement or jury award. The recoverable damages in these cases could cover your related expenses and losses, including:
- Medical care and future treatment needs
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic damages
Workers hurt by third-party drivers in construction work zones may also be able to file personal injury claims, in addition to receiving workers’ compensation or other benefits meant for injured employees. An attorney can review your case for free and determine if you have a claim.
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Contact Morris Bart, LLC about Your Work Zone Pedestrian Accident Injuries
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident injury, please contact the personal injury attorneys at the Morris Bart law office today. We offer a free case evaluation with an attorney, who will review the details of your case and advise you on the best approach to getting the compensation you deserve for your pedestrian accident injury.
Call us today at (800) 537-8185 to get your free case review. We have 15 locations across the Gulf South and represent clients on a contingency-fee basis.
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