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Lives of highway workers may be endangered by negligent drivers

It would be difficult to deny that there are many dangers on Connecticut roads. Speeding drivers, drunk drivers, distracted drivers…all can cause injuries and even death to others on the road. But some people affected by these careless drivers are not even in a vehicle. These victims are highway construction workers.

If you were traveling along I-95 on September 4, you may have been delayed in a traffic jam. That traffic situation was caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer who hit the vehicle of a Connecticut Department of Transportation worker. According to reports, the worker was standing outside his vehicle when the truck hit the vehicle, causing it to hit the DOT worker. 

Connecticut has passed laws designed to protect highway workers by imposing fines on those who injure or kill them while breaking the laws regulating the operation of a motor vehicle in a construction zone. Those can range from a fine of $500 if there is no physical injury to $10,000 if an injury results in a worker’s death.

But these fines do nothing to compensate the family and loved ones of the worker who is injured or killed. While the employer of the worker may have some obligation to pay workers’ compensation benefits, a driver who caused the accident may also be liable for compensating the victim and/or his or her family for injuries or wrongful death.

Ironically, in many situations, these workers are trying to make the highways safer for other drivers. And just as workers in a construction zone can be in danger, the conditions of a roadway construction zone itself can put other drivers and passengers in danger when those operating motor vehicles do not observe the laws that have been designed to prevent those dangers. If you have been involved in an accident caused by someone who ignores the rules in these dangerous zones, you may need the advice of an attorney to determine your rights against that driver.

Source: Connecticut Post, “Crash jams traffic after DOT worker is hit,” Jim Shay, Sept. 4, 2015

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