construction worker at a work zone warning drivers to slow downThis week (April 11th – April 15th) is National Work Zone Awareness Week. This campaign is a nation-wide event that aims to spread awareness for work zone safety across the United States. The goal is to increase recognition and understanding of the significant dangers many workers face on the job in work zones.

Locally, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation does its part to spread the word on safety for our Massachusetts workers and the traveling public as a top priority by supporting the National Work Zone Awareness Week. Likewise, our Framingham workers’ compensation attorneys are bringing awareness to this cause because of the devastating injuries we have seen in work-zone related accidents.

About the National Work Zone Awareness Week

The first official National Work Zone Awareness Week was held in 2000. This is an event that takes place across the United States, with partnerships between state departments of transportation (DOT), national road safety organizations, government agencies, private companies, and individuals. However, it began in 1997 by a group of Virginia Department of Transportation staff members to raise awareness about work zone safety.

A week in April was chosen because it’s a time of the year where the warmer, spring weather moves in, and many outdoor construction projects pick up in volume. The Virginia movement quickly spread to other states, including California, who began its statewide safety movement known as “Slow for the Cone Zone.”    

The Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials was soon after approached to help to introduce the first official National Work Zone Awareness Week.

The main efforts of the National Work Zone Awareness Week is to raise awareness of the need for more caution when driving through work zones to help keep workers safe and decrease fatalities and injuries.

Our Framingham Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Helping Spread the Word of Work Zone Safety

Since our Framingham injury lawyers specialize in helping injured workers recover the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve after being injured on the job, we have come across some severe work zone accidents and injuries. We have seen firsthand how inattentive, distracted driving in work zones in Massachusetts can impact workers and their families.

We represented a young man working on a bridge renovation project in Worcester, Massachusetts after he was struck and severely injured by a pickup truck severely injured by a pickup truck traveling through a designated construction zone. The operator of the pickup truck was driving too fast through the work zone when he hit our client causing him to be thrown and dragged on the ground. Our client was severely injured in the work zone accident. We worked closely with this worker’s family and saw personally how the accident and injuries affected this family.

Our office also helped an Ashland, Massachusetts landscaping worker who was struck by a commercial delivery vehicle in Dover. The landscaping truck and trailer were marked with orange cones, but the delivery driver was driving too fast through this work zone and struck our client and the landscaping trailer causing our client severe injuries. We had a close relationship with this worker’s family and saw how the severe injuries impacted the worker’s life and family.

These are just a couple of examples of how inattentive, carless driving can cause devastating, catastrophic injuries. This is why we are helping spread the word about work zone safety awareness. When you are traveling through a work zone, think about the workers and their families and slow down, use caution, and focus on safety to do your part to help keep the workers safe.

Our Framingham Accident Lawyers are Here to Help

We understand that, regardless of the efforts to spread safety awareness, accidents do happen. If you or a loved one was injured in a work zone accident in Massachusetts, our Framingham injury attorney are here to help. We focus our careers on helping injured workers recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries and lost time at work.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Massachusetts

Workers, who are injured on the job in a work zone accident in Massachusetts, are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation benefits for injured employees, include, among others, disability benefits and medical benefits.

Disability benefits are available to replace a portion of the injured worker’s average weekly wage their injuries prevent them from earning when they cannot return to work after an accident on the job. Medical benefits from workers’ compensation are available to cover the costs and expenses of medical treatment for the work-related injury.

Third Party Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit for Injured Worker

If the work zone accident was caused by a third party (someone other than the employer or co-worker), an injured worker may also have a third-party claim for personal injuries arising out of a work zone accident. The personal injury claim is referred to as a third-party claim because it is in addition to the injured worker’s claim for workers’ compensation.

As with the two examples above, if an employee is working in a work zone on a highway or roadway in Massachusetts and is struck by a vehicle that was traveling negligently through the work zone, he or she can pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the negligent driver in addition to their workers’ compensation claim.

In a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit, the injured worker can seek compensation for damages that are not available through workers’ compensation. For example, an injured worker cannot receive compensation for pain and suffering from a workers’ compensation claim in Massachusetts. The injured worker, however, can pursue compensation from a negligent third-party for pain and suffering through a third-party personal injury claim or lawsuit.

If you or a loved one was injured in a work zone accident in Massachusetts, you should speak with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney. Our Framingham workers’ compensation lawyers, offer free case reviews to help you understand what benefits you may be eligible for and if you may have a third-party personal injury claim to pursue.

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury lawyer & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.
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