Few places are more dangerous for Ohio workers than Ohio road construction zones. The danger stems not from the type of work but rather from passing motorists’ failure to pay attention, slow down, and move over. Despite Ohio’s Move Over law, which requires vehicles traveling on state highways or Ohio interstates to “move over” for any type of flashing light vehicle, Ohio road construction zone accidents and serious injuries are increasing at an alarming pace.
Road Construction Zone Crashes on the Uptick
In 2019, Ohio saw a record-high 6,574 work zone crashes, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). Of these, 1,121 caused injuries, including 129 serious injuries and 16 deaths. As part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, held in mid-April each year, ODOT renewed its call for drivers to move over and slow down for road crews after an employee was injured in a work zone accident. It was the fifth time in eight days that a motorist had struck an ODOT crew member working on the road.
Through the first eight months of 2020, there have been more than 2,300 Ohio work zone crashes, according to News 5 Cleveland. ODOT and the Ohio Highway Patrol say that the summer of 2020 is the worst in decades for work zone crashes—even though traffic volume is down 49 percent statewide amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Construction Zone Crashes are 100 Percent Preventable
Roadwork zone vehicle crashes are “100% preventable,” according to ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. Most work zone crashes are rear-ended collisions caused by drivers traveling too fast or too closely to the vehicle in front of them. The worst involve multi-car pile-ups, where instead of reducing speed at the work zone warning sign, a driver will wait until the last minute to slow down, causing the vehicles behind it to swerve into oncoming traffic or stop too abruptly.
Your Legal Rights in a Construction Zone Injury
Road construction crash cases are complex. If you or someone you know has been injured, or killed, in a road construction zone, Graham & Graham may be able to help. Our accident injury and Ohio Workers’ Compensation lawyers are prepared to take your case to the highest level possible to ensure that you receive the appropriate care and compensation you deserve to cover medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. We offer a no-cost consultation to review your case and advise on a path forward.
For injured road crew workers, Ohio Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, which means you typically can’t sue your employer or coworkers for an injury you suffer while on the job. But in limited cases, you may be able to recover damages by filing a lawsuit against a negligent third party, for example, a motorist who caused a construction zone accident that resulted in your injury, in addition to obtaining standard workers’ compensation benefits.
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Southeast Ohio
If you have been involved in an accident through no fault of your own, engaging a qualified Ohio personal injury lawyer or Workers’ Compensation lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome.
Graham & Graham personal injury and Workers’ Compensation lawyers are proud to call Southeastern Ohio home, and have served the region for nearly 100 years. We cover the full range of accident and injury matters with dedication, skill, compassion, and attention to detail. To schedule a free consultation, call 1-800-621-8585 or Contact Us.