The True Dangers of Work Zones

The True Dangers of Work ZonesFor most of us, our typical reaction to driving up to a work zone is annoyance and frustration. On our commute to or from work, speeding down the freeway, the last thing we want is to be stopped — or even slowed down. After all, how much construction could one road need? Do they actually need to shut down three lanes during rush hour? You just want to go home (or get to work), so you, like many others, decide to try and get through the work zone as quickly as possible.

Therein lies the issue. Work zones shut down lanes and slow speed limits for a reason: safety. Preserving the lives of the workers and drivers passing by while getting necessary work done is the whole point of the job, but it’s still an incredibly dangerous endeavor for everyone involved. You may not like it, but slowing down and using extreme caution can be life-saving when work zones are involved. If you are still involved in a work-zone accident due to the negligence of someone else, you can hold them accountable and seek financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

How do Memphis work zone accidents happen?

It isn’t hard to see how work zones can be hotbeds for accidents if you’ve ever driven through one. Depending on the location and time of day, it can be anything from sudden, minor traffic to an hour-long delay filled with dangerous merging, angry honking, and a whole lot of white-knuckling the steering wheel. Despite this, many people wrongfully believe any accidents that would happen in these zones would be minor since they’re at low speeds.

Not only can low-speed collisions still lead to catastrophic injuries, but work-zone accidents are not usually low-speed. Remember how suddenly work-zone traffic can pop up. Think about how many times you’ve slammed on the brakes a little too hard because the person in front of you stopped out of nowhere. All it takes is one person to pay just a little less attention. That is why speed-related rear end collisions cause the most work-zone fatalities, and that is why you should always be aware of your surroundings.

While drivers and their passengers may be the most common victims of work-zone accidents, it’s easy for commuters to forget that there are almost always pedestrians around in these areas. People are actively working on the roads when they put up those barriers, with only orange cones separating them from the angry rush hour traffic. In 2021, more than 1,000 workers were injured by passing vehicles — and that’s only here in Tennessee. While there haven’t been any worker fatalities in the state since 2016, the injuries a pedestrian can sustain after being hit by a vehicle can be excruciating and permanent.

This is why every year we have National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is held the second week of April. The only way to prevent accidents is for everyone on the road to drive safely, cautiously, and slowly during work-zones. Aside from simply raising awareness of the dangers, our state Department of Transportation also wants people to know the legal consequences they could face for negligent work-zone driving. It’s Tennessee law to move one lane over when approaching work-zones if possible, and to slow down heavily if not. Those who fail to do either or both could face a $500 fine and 30 days behind bars, even if they do not cause an accident.

Holding negligent drivers accountable after a work-zone accident

Do not listen to any internet “life hacks” that claim otherwise; you DO want an attorney if you have been injured in a work-zone accident. Whether you are a pedestrian worker or a fellow commuter, the best thing you can do for yourself after seeking medical attention is hiring a legal professional. No matter the exact circumstances of your case, the other party will almost definitely try to avoid taking responsibility, no matter how obviously negligent they were. If they have an attorney (and they will) and you don’t, they are much likelier to actually get away with it.

Remember, it’s not about punishing the other person, it’s about compensation for yourself. Severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries or damage to your spinal cord can lead to a lifetime of painful complications, surgeries, treatments, medications, and any other accommodations you may need. If the responsible party is not made to pay, all those bills fall to you and your family. Here in America, unfortunately, this could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt over the years, on top of your lost wages from being unable to work for any amount of time, and on top of actually going through the recovery process.

You do not deserve that. No one deserves to pay so much for someone else’s negligence. A skilled personal injury attorney knows how to advocate for your rights and compensation on your behalf to get every single cent rightfully covered. The last thing you and your family need right now is more stress, and that may be why you’re feeling iffy about an attorney, but we aim to reduce your stress as much as possible. We want to do the heavy lifting, so you don’t have to, and we have the training to get the results you need.

The cost of an attorney does not need to be a deterrent either. Here at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we take our cases on contingency. In other words, you don’t pay unless we win and until we win. Your justice is more important than anything to us, and we’re more than prepared to fight for it. Our compassionate team of Memphis car accident attorneys can answer all your questions here, in Jackson, and throughout West Tennessee. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can get started on your case, so we urge you to give us a call at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form.