Road crews keep our highways and streets in good working order, but their job exposes them to imminent dangers. Working in some instances just feet away from passing cars and trucks, workers must have strong nerves and trust that motorists will take the proper precautions to slow down and drive carefully when traveling through work zones.
Unfortunately, accidents between cars and road crews do happen, and the results can often be tragic. Last week, a crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike killed one maintenance worker and injured two others. The accident occurred towards the end of the morning commute when a box truck struck a turnpike maintenance dump truck and overturned.
Accident reconstruction teams were working to determine where the deceased worker was at the time the box truck flipped. Authorities have not yet determined why the box truck ran into the maintenance vehicle. A helicopter transported the injured workers to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The severity of the injuries suffered by the two other workers was not known.
Even a relatively minor workplace accident can produce significant ripple effects in the lives of the injured employee's family. Medical bills can pile up quickly, and lost wages can lead to difficult financial situations. Workers' compensation can cover medical costs and lost wages, and it also has a death benefit for the families of employees who were involved in a fatal workplace accident.
Obtaining the needed amount of benefits is not always easy, however, so employees and their families should know what options they have to pursue their workers' compensation claim.
Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Turnpike worker killed, 2 hurt in crash that shut east lanes," Walter F. Naedele, Oct. 24, 2012
• Workers' compensation laws require every employee to be covered. You can learn more by visiting our Bucks County workers' compensation claim process page.