Dealing with Construction Zone Auto Accidents

Orange cones aligned in a particular order, several warning signs spread across the area, and workers in bright vests is the typical scene of a construction zone. All these precautionary measures are for alerting the incoming traffic about the construction work taking place up ahead in order to reduce confusion and the probability of accidents. However, even with so many preemptive strategies, many car accidents still happen in road construction zones. This may be because of the reduced number of lanes, presence of workers and machinery on the road, changes in speed and traffic flow, and traffic jams, which can create a risky situation for both drivers and workers.

Statistical Data on Construction Zone Accidents

Construction zones create additional road hazards that often lead to a greater frequency of collisions and accidents. Each year, thousands of vehicles accidents and crashes take place due to construction zones. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2013, more than 67,000 crashes occurred in construction zones across the US. It has also been observed that the number of crashes increase when larger zones are under maintenance or being repaired. Moreover, bad weather conditions increase these crash statistics tenfold.

The Causes of Construction Zone Accidents

Whenever a road is in a poor condition, it requires fixing in order to mitigate higher risks of large scale calamities. Regular maintenance and construction work keeps the roads safe for traffic, but over the years, such construction zones have proven to be as dangerous as a bad road. There are several reasons why accidents occur in construction zones, including:

  • Debris of the construction materials poses a great threat as they litter the roadway and make road conditions risky for both workers and drivers.
  • Sometimes, there is a warning sign or cones missing due to which drivers don’t know how to safely navigate through the construction zone.
  • Poor lighting during the nighttime and misplaced barrels can make driving through the worker zone difficult.
  • Equipment and machinery are also hazards that can potentially become the cause of accidents.
  • During construction, the number of lanes is decreased, which leads to slower traffic. Some drivers fail to notice this and don’t properly adapt to the change, which results in accidents.
  • Speeding, distracted driving, impaired driving, and failing to observe warning signs are some other reasons for construction zone accidents.

What to do if you were in a Construction Zone Accident?

You may have taken all the necessary precautions to drive through the construction zone safely, and may still have met an accident. So what can you do in such a situation? You may not be completely sure whether it was your or the other driver’s fault, or the accident happened because of the unsafe conditions of the construction zone. In such a case, you should consult an experienced and reliable personal injury attorney, as you may have a case and a chance to get compensated for your pain and suffering.


For evaluating your case and the possibilities for your personal injury claim, contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.

The Path to Recovery: Unique Nature of the Construction Industry

All of the massive skyscrapers that seem to sprout from the ground and rise to the heavens have one thing in common: they were built by the hands of men and women in the construction industry.  The world of a construction worker is one of long hours, arduous work and little recognition for the masterful creations that are constructed over a period of time.  What is less well known by members of the general public are the hazards that these workers face day in and day out.  An accident on a construction site far too often has long-term disabling or fatal consequences.  Knowing the laws that are designed to protect workers, both before and after injury, is key to ensuring that they are provided the proper care that is owed to them for their contributions to society.

Beyond Workers’ Compensation

In Illinois, as in all states, the first avenue for an injured worker to pursue to obtain help after an accident is through his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.  Employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their employees that will cover the costs of an injured employee’s medical care in the event of a workplace accident.  However, with accidents occurring at construction sites, workers’ compensation may not be the only path an injured worker can take to recover damages to which they are entitled.

Because of the unique nature of the construction industry, there may be many different entities carrying some liability for the accident that resulted in a worker’s injury.  Depending on the facts of the situation, one or all of the entities responsible for a construction project may share responsibility for any accidents that occur.  While true that the workers’ compensation system limits a person’s ability to file a lawsuit against an employer, this is not the case if a third party (non-employer) shares fault for an accident.

Punitive Damages — An Employer’s Negligence

Injured construction workers, or their families in the case of a fatal accident, may also be entitled to recover punitive damages, even if their claims are against their employer and not against third parties.  Punitive damages are designed to act as a deterrent to engaging in negligent or reckless behavior that is likely to cause injury.  This is especially important in the construction industry, given the potential for catastrophic loss in the event of an accident.  If an injured worker can show that his or her employer acted intentionally or with reckless indifference toward the safety of their employees, and an employee was injured, punitive damages may be available.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.

In today’s modern construction environment, those who are responsible for ensuring that construction workers are protected as much as possible from the inherent dangers of the profession all too often cut corners in the interest of saving money, rather than upholding their duty to employees.

If you or a loved one has been injured by the reckless decisions of another, the professionals at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. can help.  Cost saving measures that put the lives of construction workers at risk are the primary reason that high awards of punitive damages are appropriate; they exist to show employers it does not pay to gamble with their employees’ lives.


Dangers in the Workplace and OSHA: Construction Sites

Construction sites are virtually always full of dangers. Despite restrictions on what workers can wear, including hard hats and steel-toed boots, there are many other potentially dangerous situations that cannot be entirely prevented by protective clothing. It is for this reason that the federal government created the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). Working together with state and local governments, OSHA’s primary goal is to protect workers as they do their jobs and help employers prevent workplace accidents and take workplace safety seriously. Construction workers can take action if they believe that a workplace hazard exists and their employer is not taking the appropriate steps to protect them. Specifically, a worker has the right to file a complaint with OSHA if their employer refuses address their safety concerns. Employees are also protected against retaliation for complaining of potential violations, which means that an employer cannot punish an employee merely for bringing a safety concern to the employer’s attention.

Types of Construction Accidents

The top 10 types of construction safety violations reported by OSHA are ineffective fall protection, poor hazard communication, faulty scaffolding, ineffective respiratory protection, industrial truck accidents, lockouts, ladder problems, faulty electrical wiring, poor machine guarding, and general electrical faults. By addressing these areas, employers can significantly decrease the potential for workplace accidents.


While OSHA is a federal agency, it has jurisdiction over all private sector workplaces, federal agencies, maritime employers, and military facilities throughout the State of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Labor’s Safety, Inspection, and Education Division, based in Springfield, has jurisdiction over all public sector employees in the state. According to OSHA, 3,929 private industry workers died on the job in 2013. Of those, 20% were in the construction industry, which means that one in five construction workers is at risk of dying when he or she goes to work. Lake County had over 35 road and bridge construction projects planned for 2014, which are in various states of completion, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. For each of these projects, OSHA’s state counterpart was responsible for overseeing the safety of the workers on those projects.

OSHA and its partners continually take steps to help employers prevent workplace accidents, such as conducting site inspections to look for faulty equipment, monitoring compliance through mandated reporting, and educating the industry on how to make construction sites safer. Specifically with regard to road and bridge projects, the public also must be made aware of the dangers faced by construction workers. While it may take a few more minutes to get to their destination, drivers need to abide by the safety zone speed limits and other instructions to ensure those men and women working on the road get home safely at the end of their shift.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. | Waukegan Personal Injury Lawyers


Construction accidents account for a large percentage of serious workplace injuries and fatalities every year. Taking steps to prevent these accidents is key to the protection of construction workers. If an employer fails to take the required steps to protect its workers, then it is the duty of those workers to alert the appropriate individuals before an accident happens. Furthermore, if you have been injured in a construction accident, contact a Woodstock personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. for assistance filing a civil lawsuit.