According to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), 650 people were injured, and 14 people lost their lives in highway work zone areas in 2018. While it can be frustrating to travel through highway work zones, remember that the highway employees are working as diligently as possible to reduce how their construction activities affect the roads, especially on interstate highways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a work zone accident, continue reading to learn more about our firm’s expertise in Indiana work zone accident cases.
Wagner Reese, LLP is a nationwide leader focusing on Indiana’s work zone safety laws. We believe that workers deserve utmost safety when working for the people of Indiana. Our law firm has a dedicated team of work zone accident attorneys in Indiana whose goal is to protect the rights of workers and drivers traveling through work zones. Our lawyers are well known for being top-notch and providing solid, unwavering representation to our clients.
Overview of Indiana Work Zone Safety Laws
Nationwide, roughly 40,000 accidents occur in work zones each year. In general, when a fatality occurs, it is not the worker who is killed but rather the driver. The Indiana DOT must properly do its part when road construction occurs to keep the construction workers and passing motorists safe.
The importance of work zone safety laws in Indiana
The Indiana DOT must properly do its part when road construction occurs to keep construction workers and passing motorists safe. While not everything is under the control of the construction companies, they are still required to do everything physically possible to follow work zone regulations in Indiana. Some factors, such as inattentive driving, speeding, and following too closely, are major reasons that crashes occur in work zones.
Overview of the legal requirements for work zone safety
Work zone employees and the companies they work for must pay attention to the following legal requirements:
- Post clearly marked signage 7 feet high providing instructions for traffic flow
- Construction and maintenance should be done during off-peak hours
- Highly visible clothing and vests and proper safety equipment, like eye protection and hardhats, should be worn by workers
- An obvious barrier must be placed between workers and motorists, clearly making a distinction between the road and work zones
- Properly trained flaggers must use the right equipment for maximum safety and visibility
Responsibilities of Employers and Contractors
Employers and contractors must follow all Indiana construction zone safety laws. Work zone traffic must be controlled for the safety of drivers and workers. When a contractor fails to properly set up a work zone, they can be held liable for any crashes that occur as a result.
The obligations of employers and contractors in maintaining work zone safety
Employers and contractors are obligated to maintain work zone safety areas. They must do so to avoid serious injury or death. Among other things, contractors must:
- Reduce safety hazards in work zones
- Provide special training or safety gear necessary to complete their job safely
- Keep detailed records of any workplace injury or death
Potential liabilities construction companies could face if safety measures are not followed
Based on the circumstances, construction companies could be held liable for work zone accidents. Negligence in properly setting up the work zone and improper equipment operation is an example of construction company liability. The following scenarios outline when a construction company could be liable:
- Improper maintenance of construction sites that cause hazards for drivers
- Failing to provide understandable instructions for detours
- Construction equipment hitting vehicles
- Unclear lane usage instructions
- Lack of or bad placement of caution signs
- Inadequately placed lighting
Rights and Protections for Workers
Workers have legal protection in Indiana work zones. Their employers are responsible for their safety. When injuries occur, employees can hold their employers responsible.
The rights and protections available to workers in Indiana work zones
Workers are afforded protection when performing their job duties in Indiana work zones. They can insist employers provide the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) to their workers. The equipment should always be reflective. If injured on the job, workers can seek compensation from all liable parties.
The steps workers should take if they experience violations or accidents in work zones
Employees should immediately report their injuries, whether minor or severe to their supervisor or employer and seek medical attention immediately. They should gather evidence using photos of how the accident occurred. They can then hire an Indiana work zone attorney to help them seek compensation for their damages.
Consequences of Work Zone Safety Violations
Work zone safety affects everyone. Workers must be able to perform their jobs without fear of being injured. Drivers must be safe to travel through work zones during construction. Individuals or construction companies can commit work zone safety violations.
The potential consequences for individuals and companies who violate work zone safety laws.
Drivers may be cited for work zone driving infractions that injure a worker. Employers can hold vicarious liability for injuries to workers.
The legal recourse available to victims of work zone accidents
Victims of work zone accidents have the right to compensation. The circumstances of the accident will determine who is liable. Compensation can be sought for injuries and property damage.
Wagner Reese successfully handles more than just work zone injury claims:
- $4.75 million- underinsured motorist claim against employer
- $17 million- catastrophic injury for a gas explosion
- $3.3 million- personal injury from tree fall
Wagner Reese, LLP is Ready to Fight For Your Rights
If you have been the victim of a work zone accident, you deserve justice. An Indiana work zone accident attorney at Wagner Reese, LLP can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Our firm is widely known for the thorough representation we provide to our injured clients. If you want aid from one of the nation’s Super Lawyers®, look no further than our firm. Contact us today using our free online form or call us.