On Massachusetts interstates, the speed limit in most areas is 65 m.p.h., though vehicles frequently travel at higher rates. Other roads have speed limits ranging between 25 and 55 m.p.h. Construction zones often lead to abrupt changes in road configurations and conditions, speed limits, traffic patterns, and congestion. Motorists and construction site workers are at risk of accidents leading to injuries and fatalities.
Whether you are a worker or motorist, if you’ve been in a construction zone accident in Massachusetts, Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is here to help. An attorney with experience handling these types of accidents provides you with legal support, protects your rights and offers legal advice specific to your unique situation. Construction zone accident cases can be complex; our team can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Know the Work Zone Accident Stats
Despite the warnings, signs, and reduced speed limits, roadway construction zones are hazardous. Too many motorists and workers sustain injuries or die yearly in accidents involving another party’s negligent actions.
According to the Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Work Zone Management Program, one person dies in a construction zone for every 4 billion vehicle miles traveled and $112 million spent on roadway construction. When comparing 2019 to 2020 data, the following stats indicate that work zone hazards increased:
- Construction zone fatalities increased by 1.4%, less than the 6.6% increase in traffic accidents outside work areas.
- 845 people died in 2019, compared to 857 in 2020, even though vehicle miles traveled decreased by 2 billion between the two years (a 13.2% decrease).
- 690 vehicle occupants died in 2019 versus 680 in 2020. However, 155 pedestrians and other non-motorists lost their lives in 2019, compared to 177 in 2020.
- Speeding was a factor in 32% of the 2019 fatal crashes and 37% of the 2020 fatal accidents.
In addition to the risks of getting hit by motorists traveling through construction zones, workers face further dangers.
While 45.3% of fatalities occur after a vehicle strikes an on-foot worker and another 29.4% occur when the worker is in a car and has an accident, 7.2% of construction worker fatalities occur after a stuck by object or equipment accident, 5.1% are from slips, trips and falls, 4.9% are due to electrocutions, and 2% occur after a worker is caught between objects or equipment.
In 2019, 140,939 crashes occurred on Massachusetts roadways, resulting in 39,945 non-fatal injuries and 324 deaths. Of those, 425 people suffered injuries, and five died in work zone accidents. In 2020, the number of construction zone fatal injuries rose to nine; all were motor vehicle occupants.
Understand the Legalities of Construction Zone Accident Cases
Construction zone accidents are often highly complex. Multiple contributing factors are usually at play, even when two motorists are involved. When a worker gets hurt, the accident may have layers that include traffic laws and workers’ compensation issues. The rules that impact you depend on who you are and how you got hurt.
Hiring a lawyer near you makes it easier to access your legal team when needed and ensures you work with someone who understands the complex landscape of a construction zone accident case. Let’s go over the most significant laws that might impact your case.
Massachusetts Construction Zone Speed Limits
The state’s General Laws allow the relevant traffic safety department to establish construction zone speed limits that vary from posted limits outside work areas. The department does not have to conduct an engineering study to change the speed limit.
The law stipulates that motorists who violate these limits are engaging in behaviors that are not reasonable or proper. As such, fines are double what they would be in non-construction zones. Motorists speeding when an accident occurs may face additional fines and penalties, especially if someone gets hurt or dies.
Massachusetts Car Insurance Requirements
All motorists in the state must have personal injury protection, which covers medical expenses and 75% of lost wages for them, anyone in their household, passengers and pedestrians when an accident leads to injuries. Fault is not a consideration. The minimum coverage is $8,000.
The insurance does not pay past the policy’s limit. A severe accident can lead to damages that exceed the limits and cause non-economic harms not provided for in P.I.P. coverages. If you are a motorist who sustained injuries in a construction zone accident, an attorney from Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can assess your case to determine the potential costs of your injuries and whether you have other options for pursuing compensation.
Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Rules
Construction zone workers usually have workers’ compensation insurance protection. The state requires almost all employers to carry coverage for their employees. Very few workers would legitimately fall under the state’s accepted definitions for independent contractors or subcontractors.
If you are a worker who sustained on-the-job injuries, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation medical and wage benefits. However, the challenge with these cases is that a motorist or another third party might be liable for your injuries, in which case, W.C.I. won’t pay for the damages.
A Massachusetts construction zone injury lawyer from Jason Stone Injury Lawyers understands workers’ compensation law, the highway construction industry and the state’s personal injury laws. Our attorneys can untangle the evidence in your case to help you decide what avenues are available to you for recovering your losses.
Massachusetts Comparative Negligence Rule
Whether you are a motorist or construction zone worker, you may have a valid personal injury claim. However, when pursuing a lawsuit, the law requires the court to consider your role in the accident. If your actions contributed to the accident, the state does not prohibit you from seeking compensation, but it does impact your case’s outcome.
Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence rule. As long as you are 50% or less at fault, your recovered damages equal the total award minus a percentage equal to your degree of responsibility. If you are more than half to blame, you won’t walk away with anything. Don’t leave anything to chance with your case. Contact a construction zone accident attorney near you for help.
Discover the Benefits of Legal Assistance
Obtaining legal help with your case is often critical. A lawyer who understands the legalities and relevant laws is well-situated to analyze your case to determine your options. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has construction zone accident attorneys with experience and demonstrated success handling motorist and worker claims.
We offer our Stone Cold Guarantee, which means you won’t pay anything until we settle your case. We are happy to assess your claim and do it for free. If you decide to hire us, we do the following:
- Offer legal advice and protect your rights
- Gather evidence to support your claim and build a solid case
- Support you in dealing with the insurance company
- Guide you through a workers’ compensation dispute process
- Negotiate your settlement
- Represent you in court
Our team handles all aspects of your case. We feel strongly that construction zone accident victims get the compensation they deserve. You don’t need to have catastrophic injuries to contact us.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, we provide the knowledge, experience and support you need to pursue the compensation you deserve after a construction zone accident. Let us handle your case while you concentrate on recovery. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®.