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One Thruway worker killed, another injured in work zone

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Workplace injuries

Some types of work are inherently more dangerous than others. Highway workers face potentially deadly hazards every time they enter work zones.

Recently, one employee of the New York State Thruway Authority was killed and another badly injured when a tractor-trailer truck struck them as they worked in a marked work zone on I-90. According to news reports, when emergency workers arrived, they found one worker dead at the scene. The other was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Police continue to investigate the accident. As of yet, the truck driver has not been charged with any crimes.

Dangerous work

Road workers face serious dangers as they try to do their jobs while traffic zooms past them at lethal speeds.

According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council, 891 people died in roadside work zones in 2022. Another 37,701 were injured. Seven of those deaths occurred in New York.

Nationally, most of those killed were drivers — both drivers who were at work and drivers who were traveling through a work zone. Another 136 were pedestrians, who were mostly if not entirely people at work in the zones.

Workers’ compensation for road workers

Road workers are covered by workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. Workers’ compensation through their employers should pay for their medical care and provide them with income while they recover from their injuries. In cases involving fatal injuries, workers’ compensation can also provide benefits to the victims’ family members.

Workers’ compensation is intended to be an exclusive remedy, which means that a worker who collects workers’ compensation benefits generally cannot sue their employer over the same accident. However, this does not prevent a worker from filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was responsible for their injuries. Third party claims of this kind can be complicated, but they may, in some cases, help the injured to maximize their compensation.