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Road Construction Zone Accidents

Episode 82: Calloway County injury attorney Jeff Roberts discusses construction zone accidents both from the personal injury (i.e. car wreck) perspective, as well as from the workers’ compensation claim standpoint. 

Jeff Roberts is a personal injury attorney with over 32 years of experience.  He focuses on car wrecks, motorcycle accidents and trucking collisions.  He’s also built a strong reputation for his skill in workers’ compensation and social security disability cases.  Jeff has offices in both Murray and Hopkinsville, although he receives referrals from other attorneys from across the state.  He can handle these various claims anywhere in Kentucky.

Attorney Jeff Roberts discusses road construction zone accidents

It’s Road Construction Season

Summertime is definitely road construction season.  Many construction projects take place on the interstates, highways, state roads, county roads and local streets.  The risks for a car accident are increased when you combine that factor with the vacation travel that takes place. 

According to the most recent Kentucky State Police’s Traffic Collision Facts Report (2022 summary), which we discussed in Episode 80, there were 804 collisions involving roadway construction, including 5 fatal collisions.  The report also lists maintenance and utility work as a separate category.  It involved 279 collisions and 1 traffic fatality. 

In Episode 63, Jeff discussed multiple vehicle collisions.  Construction zone accidents often involve 2 or more vehicles for a number of reasons.  As traffic slows, sometimes abruptly, it’s possible a driver may not react in time, resulting in a rear-end collision, which could force the other vehicle into another car.  The results can be catastrophic when these collisions involve a tractor trailer.

Jeff takes a minute to remind us of the significant risk when you or another driver is texting or otherwise distracted.  Construction zone accidents occur when the traffic pattern or progress suddenly changes.  If drivers aren’t paying attention to what’s going on around them, the results can be tragic.

There are various apps people use to identify construction zones and other traffic delays.  Jeff suggests listening to the alerts, rather than staring at the phone screen.  Anytime you remove your eyes from the road while driving, it creates an unsafe environment.  At the same time, if you want to report a pothole, car on the side of the road, etc. on the app, Jeff recommends having a passenger to that for you.

Construction Equipment Entering or Exiting the Roadway

Another challenge to avoiding construction zone accidents is anticipating and reacting to construction vehicles and equipment merging into traffic or crossing the lanes.  They take time to accelerate and/or slow down.  It’s best to give them plenty of room and/or to change lanes to allow enough room to safely operate.  Jeff offers the example of a dump truck full of asphalt involved in a paving project. 

Collisions with Temporary Walls and Orange Barrels

It’s very common for road crews to install concrete walls which require drivers to merge into other lanes.  These are also meant to protect the construction crew.  Sometimes, the lanes are marked with orange barrels.  Drivers may not be aware of these walls or may run into the orange barrels.  These hazards can result in construction zone accidents either for the unsuspecting driver or other drivers near that driver. 

Workers’ Compensation Issues in Construction Zone Accidents

A significant part of Jeff’s law practice involves handling workers’ compensation claims for injured workers.  In a construction zone accident, people typically assume that if someone on the road construction crew get injured, he/she could file a workers’ comp claim.  However, there’s also the situation involving someone who is driving as part of their job, such as a sales representative, delivery driver or someone heading to a meeting when the accident occurs. If that person is injured while driving or riding in the vehicle, for business purposes, he/she may also have a workers’ compensation claim.  This is true even if that person doesn’t work or live in Kentucky.

Injured While Working on a Road Construction Project

If you work for a company that is performing road construction, and get injured on the job, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.  Workers’ comp will pay for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages, while you are off of work due to your injuries. 

If your injury is a result of a driver, who doesn’t work for your company, you may have the right to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, in addition to your workers’ compensation claim.  These situations can be confusing.  Jeff advises you to reach out to an attorney who has experience in both types of claims.  Surprisingly, one claim can affect the other, if not handled properly.  People may not understand they can usually file both claims at the same time.  Jeff offers free consultations for anyone injured on the job in Kentucky.

In Episode 77, Jeff explains how your average weekly wage is calculated.  It’s not as easy as people might assume.  This is an important part of your workers’ compensation benefits.

Injured in a Construction Zone While Traveling for Business

There are some occupations that required driving or travelling as part of the normal business activity.  A sales rep, delivery driver and others fall into this category.  If you are involved in an accident while you are driving (or riding), you most-likely have a workers’ compensation claim.  You would also potentially have a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. 

However, in Episode 71, Jeff explains why people using their own vehicles for business (especially Uber or Lyft drivers) may be exempt from filing a workers’ comp claim.  Additionally, your own insurance company may not cover you if you are using your personal vehicle for business purposes.  It’s complicated, so make sure you speak to an experienced attorney about your specific situation.

Traffic Fatalities in a Construction Zone

Tragically, some construction zone accidents can result in one or more traffic fatalities.  Jeff specifically addressed traffic fatalities in Episode 57.  We referenced the 6 fatal collisions listed in the KSP Traffic Collision Report, earlier in the episode. 

What Do Other Clients Think About Jeff?

We always encourage listeners to read the Google Reviews Jeff Roberts has received from many of his clients.  A 5-Star rating and the comments are earned recognition and demonstrate Jeff’s commitment to his clients.  As a solo attorney, he has more Google Reviews than some firms with multiple attorneys.  Jeff shares the credit with his staff at the Roberts Law Office.  Successfully representing a victim of an automobile accident is a team effort.  It’s why Jeff likes to say his firm offers small town service with big city results.

Jeff Roberts Represents Injured Clients Throughout Kentucky

With offices located in Calloway County and now Christian County, Jeff has a history of representing personal injury clients, workers’ compensation clients and social security disability clients across the state.  He’s represented clients from Paducah, Bowling Green, Louisville, Covington, Whitesville and many other Kentucky locations.  He’s not just a Western Kentucky injury attorney. 

We hope you found this episode insightful and helpful.  Thank you for listening!                                                                                                    

Is It Time to Speak with an Attorney about Your Construction Zone Accident Claim?

The office phone number is (270) 753-0053 or toll free at 800-844-5108.  For more information, visit This podcast is meant to provide information and is not legal advice.  Jeff’s principal office is located at 509 Main Street, Murray, Kentucky.  Co-host Jim Ray is a non-attorney spokesperson.  This is an advertisement.