Why Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Workers Have Such Tough Jobs

There is no doubt that highway workers have very dangerous jobs. Whether it’s the highway safety patrol or roadway construction workers, crashes involving these workers have been climbing in recent years.  In 2018, 1,256 injuries and 9 fatalities were reported in work zones and other areas involving highway workers in Virginia.  Unfortunately, Virginia is still seeing a large number of our highway workers suffering serious injuries.

On Wednesday, December 16th, a Virginia Department of Transportation worker was seriously injured while helping a motorist with a disabled vehicle on Interstate 64 on Afton Mountain.  While the highway safety worker was outside of his vehicle, he was struck by a tractor trailer.  The tractor trailer driver reportedly lost control of his vehicle, slid onto the shoulder, hit the highway safety worker and the safety services patrol vehicle.  The tractor trailer driver fled the scene of the accident.  The highway worker is in critical condition at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

So, what is the responsibility of a driver who encounters slick road conditions and is approaching highway workers? 

First (and this should be common sense) if there is a collision, NEVER EVER leave the scene of the accident!  Even if the collision is not your fault, leaving the scene of an accident could cast a suspicion of guilt on you.  If there is a collision, it is far better to stop and do your part to help.

Second, the amount of care a driver needs to use during a weather event is directly related to the level of risk that is present at the time.  During a bad weather event that leaves the roads slick, a higher level of driver caution and care is required.  For instance, to prepare for the possibility that you might encounter a highway worker or other roadside emergency, it is best to maintain a safe travel speed.  During icy conditions, rapidly applying the vehicle’s brakes can cause sliding.  So, maintaining a safe, consistent speed the entire time you are traveling will help prevent the necessity for quickly applying the brakes. You should be aware that your speed will likely need to be a good bit slower than the speed at which you typically travel.  Additionally, moving away from roadside emergencies and putting plenty of space between yourself and parked vehicles will help in avoiding collisions.

In the case of the recent Virginia highway worker, there is also a possibility of recovery under a Virginia Workers’ Compensation claim.  Generally, Virginia Workers’ Compensation requires reimbursement if there is a settlement or recovery from a personal injury claim.  However, workers’ comp will usually cover medical treatment while the employee is recovering and may offer ongoing medical coverage as well.

Key Takeaways

The key takeaway .  .  . WATCH OUT FOR OUR HIGHWAY WORKERS!  Slow down, move away from vehicles on the side of the roadway.  Drive more cautiously during bad weather events.

Highway workers are working to improve everyone’s traveling safety.  Let’s take care of them!

How Long Can I Wait to Call a Lawyer?

When you’re injured in an auto accident in Virginia or West Virginia, you must be aware of the statute of limitations which applies in your particular case. The statute of limitations refers to the time you have following an accident to file a lawsuit.  In both Virginia and West Virginia, this time limit depends upon the circumstances of your accident and injury.  The time limitation starts to run on the date of the accident.  Filing a claim with an insurance company does not extend or delay the time.

The longer you wait to contact an attorney, the greater the risk that the statute of limitations time limit will expire. If it does, you may lose your right to sue the at-fault party and recover compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been seriously injured and someone else is at fault, you should contact a personal injury attorney at the earliest possible time.  Contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer early in your case will help prevent deadlines from expiring and will allow your case to be properly prepared.

To be able to determine whether you have a case, your lawyer needs to thoroughly investigate the details about your accident and injuries. Investigating the accident and collecting information is much easier if it occurs quickly after the accident has happened. A time delay can result in many problems like lost evidence and witnesses who can’t be found.

When you hire a lawyer to handle your car accident claim, he or she will first negotiate with the insurance company to try to settle your claim. If settlement negotiations break down, your attorney will prepare to file a lawsuit and prepare your case for trial. For this reason, it is especially important that you get an experienced lawyer to help with your case, such as one certified through the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

Talk With A Virginia And West Virginia Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one suffered significant injuries in a car accident in Virginia or West Virginia, Ritchie Law Firm is here to help.  The experienced, certified attorneys at the Ritchie Law Firm has helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover the compensation they deserve after an accident. Contact us by phone at 800-277-6124 or by using our online contact form.

Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious and catastrophic injuries or lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence. Ritchie Law Firm serves all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Winchester, Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and Staunton, and also serves clients in West Virginia, including Martinsburg, WV.