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Deadly Work Zone Crash Shows Perils of Highway Work
March 28, 2023

Deadly Work Zone Crash Shows Perils of Highway Work

by Jim Adler

Six construction workers were killed recently when a car crashed into their work zone along a stretch of I-695 in Baltimore County, Maryland.

The accident is among the latest in a concerning trend for work zone crashes and fatalities. Nationwide, work zone traffic deaths reached a 16-year high in 2020. In Texas, work zone crashes claimed the lives of 246 people in 2021, a 33% increase over the previous year. They also seriously injured more than 800 people.

Work zone accidents can give rise to car accident lawsuits, work injury claims, and wrongful death claims.

Maryland Incident Tragic, Avoidable, and All Too Common

On March 22, a passenger car driver attempted to change lanes, struck another vehicle, lost control, and crashed into a work zone, killing six highway workers.

The accident is under investigation, and charges could be filed against the driver. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says that issues related to speeding and construction worker protections are among the factors being investigated.

The fatal crash occurred one month ahead of National Work Zone Awareness Week, an annual event that aims to raise awareness about work zone safety.

Texas Work Zone Crashes

National trends in work zone accidents, fatalities, and injures are reflected in Texas, where rapid growth has accelerated demand for road construction projects. At any given time across Texas, an estimated 40,000 road workers are active on 1,000 miles of roadway projects.

Ahead of last year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reported some alarming statistics about Texas work zone crashes:

Driver and Passenger Work Zone Dangers

Road workers face tough workplace conditions, with speeding traffic oftentimes just feet, or inches, away from them. And while work zone safety campaigns rightly focus on the risks to the men and women of the construction industry, statistics show that motorists face greater risks from work zone crashes.

Work Zone Accident Injury Claims

There’s a lot going on at highway construction sites. Drivers must navigate temporary lanes and redirected traffic in close proximity to workers and heavy equipment. Within these tight quarters, the margin of error is reduced. Tragedy can strike in a split second.

Sorting through the wreckage of a work zone crash can require shutting the highway down for hours. And after that, injury claims resulting from the crash can take even longer to sort out as investigations drag on for months and even years.

The injury claims that can arise from a work zone crash vary. Some of the different scenarios include:   

Highway crashes like the one in Baltimore offer a tragic reminder that work zones are accidents waiting to happen. A distracted driver could sideswipe another vehicle and carom out of control. A tractor trailer carrying a heavy load could have trouble stopping and plow into a construction site. Lane change patterns might confuse motorists and set off a deadly chain reaction.

When a work zone accident does happen, it can lead to claims against multiple parties, but there is a narrow window to identify who may be responsible and hold them accountable. Serious injuries require a serious legal team. There are many injury lawyers in Texas, but there’s only one Texas Hammer. With 50 years of handling auto and work-related accidents, you can trust us to make things right.

About Jim Adler

Jim Adler, also known as The Texas Hammer®, is an American trial attorney and owner of Jim Adler & Associates. He has been practicing law in Texas in the area of personal injury for 54 years.

Jim Adler graduated from the University of Texas School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) in 1967.

Jim Adler is a member of the State Bar of Texas, American Bar Association (ABA) and American Trial Lawyers Association. He is licensed to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and U.S. District Courts of Texas. Read More

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