Legal Help After A Highway Construction Accident
A staggering number of fatal accidents have occurred on highway construction projects in the Seattle area. With Washington ranked as one of the 10 worst states for road conditions, many roadway upgrades are long overdue.
As reported by Seattle Business, federal funding for the state falls well below the amount paid to other states with better road systems, making traffic safety problems challenging for the city, county and state agencies tasked with keeping the roads safe. Unfortunately, the many construction zones in the Seattle area are the location of serious or fatal accidents.
Workers At Risk On Seattle Highway Construction Projects
Highway work crews work in very dangerous conditions. Work zone construction sites on Seattle’s busiest routes have led to a frightening uptick in serious and fatal injuries to workers and commuters traveling these routes. The Federal Highway Administration reports that work zone fatalities have reached the highest rate in 15 years.
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) reveals that large trucks are involved in one third of all fatal crashes taking place in work zones. Since 2010, work zone accidents have increased 44%. Fatal work zone accidents include rear-end accidents (24%), collisions with commercial vehicles (33%) and fatal accidents in which speeding was a factor (31%), as reported by the federal DOT.
Highway Work Zone Injuries
The injuries sustained when a highway worker is hit by a moving vehicle can range from serious to fatal. Some of the most common injuries sustained by workers on highway projects in Seattle include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
Seattle has several large highways systems, including:
- I-5: The major north-south highway, running from California to Washington state and reaching the Canadian and Mexican borders.
- I-90: Interstate 90 is a transcontinental route running between Seattle and Boston. It is the longest freeway in the state and is in constant heavy use.
- State Route 520: This heavily traveled route connects Seattle to Redmond and intersects with both the I-5 and I-405 and SR 202.
Seattle Highways And Construction Projects
Large scale projects currently in process in the Seattle area include:
- State Route 520 bridge replacement and corridor program
- Amazon headquarters
- East Link extension
- Sound Transit 3
- Lynnwood Link Extension
- Puget Sound Gateway
These projects, when completed, may ease some of the serious traffic problems plaguing Seattle. Unfortunately, they are also the location of many serious or fatal road construction accidents, with workers, drivers and their passengers facing serious, catastrophic or fatal injuries.
Work Zone Regulations
Highway work zones are some of the most hazardous for workers. A few of the safety regulations geared to protect workers, and they include:
- All work vehicles must have a flashing beacon.
- A “shadow vehicle” is to be in place to provide advance warning to drivers.
- Various warning signs are required, including static signs, portable message signs and arrow boards.
- Traffic channeling devices (safety cones) or taller channeling devices are required, based on the scope of the project.
- Barricades must be used for ramp closures, along with cones.
- Temporary barriers made of concrete or steel may be required.
- Flagging to control and slow traffic flow is required for many projects.
- Work zones involve reduced speed limits.
Who Is Liable In A Highway Construction Accident?
Every accident has a unique set of facts. A driver who violates the law by speeding through a construction zone and fails to slow to the posted limit could be held liable when a worker is hit and suffers injuries or dies. In an accident involving a large commercial truck, the driver, trucking company or other entity may be held liable. The first step in filing a claim to recover damages is to identify all liable parties.
At Pendergast Law, our legal team is committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to the injured in highway construction accident cases and can help you identify all liable parties and file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages. If you were injured in a highway construction accident as a worker, driver, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, we urge you to connect with our Seattle auto accident attorneys as early as possible after the incident so that we can gather and preserve the evidence to support your claim.
Contact Us Today
In any personal injury case, you have a limited time in which to file a claim. When we take on a case of a highway construction accident, we will thoroughly investigate the cause of the accident, file all necessary documents and pursue fair and full compensation. Joseph E. Pendergast III holds a “Superb” rating by Avvo and is listed in the Top 10 Trial Lawyers list. Call us toll-free at 888-539-9211 today.