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Welcome to Texas Work Injury Law Blog

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for work injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by work injuries.

Posts Tagged ‘Texas Department of Transportation’

Three Texas Workers Die in Roadway Construction in Amarillo, Texas

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Three friends and co-workers were killed and two workers were injured at a roadway construction site on eastbound I-40 in Amarillo, Texas, on Saturday morning, June 10, 2017. A pick-up truck hauling a 16-foot flatbed trailer was traveling through the construction site when the trailer broke loose from the pickup and crashed into road paving equipment and the crew working with it.

The deceased workers are 63-year-old Julian Zamora,  59-year-old Ygnacio Rodriquez, and 36-year-old Jorge Noe Catano. They and the two injured workers are all J. Lee Milligan employees. One of the injured workers suffered life-threatening injuries, and the other was severely injured. The Amarillo Police Department said the scene on I-40 was located just east of Whitaker Road.

At approximately 9:05 a.m., the silver Ford pickup hauling construction materials such as sand and rebar was traveling eastbound on I-40 when the trailer became disconnected. The trailer careened into road construction lanes and then crashed into the road paving machine and the five workers. The trailer then went off-road and fell onto its side, which caused the sand load to hit a construction crew pickup truck that was parked beside the machinery, off the road.

The driver whose trailer broke off returned to the scene. He was not injured. The Austin Police Department traffic investigators questioned him. No charges have been filed in connection with this fatal workplace accident.

The Texas Department of Transportation contracted J. Lee Milligan to handle the hot-mix work in the Amarillo area. A statement from TxDOT officials asked for prayers for the families of the deceased and for those injured in this tragic accident.

The hitch hardware that fell off of the pickup truck, causing the trailer to break loose, was recovered by traffic investigators. Speed was not considered to be a factor.

–Guest Contributor


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Attorney Work Accident Help – New Website Launched for Texas Employer Traffic Safety Program – Part 7

Monday, December 14th, 2015

English: Weslaco,TX, July 25, 2008 -- Texas De...

English: Weslaco,TX, July 25, 2008 — Texas Department of Transportation worker Leoplodo Johnson works on the stop lights at a major intersection in Welasco as public works recover their support and safety systems. Barry Bahler/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Texas Employer Traffic Safety teamed up to launch a website at txdrivingconcern.org. Automobile crashes are among the top causes of workplace fatalities in the United States. Employers in Texas alone spend more than $3 billion in costs related to injuries and fatalities on and off the job. The latest information on driving-related concerns are posted on the new website, including on topics such as impaired driving, passenger restraint, aggressive driving, and distracted driving.

The new Texas Employer Traffic Safety website provides the following additional statistics and information about aggressive driving, and employers in Texas are urged to share the information with their drivers:

  • Aggressive driving includes such behaviors as tailgating, unnecessary and frequent lane changes, speeding, running red lights, and speeding through yellow lights. When one driver engages in any of these unsafe behaviors, a potential result is road rage.
  • Speeding was a contributing factor in almost 27,000 wrecks in Texas last year, according to TxDOT.
  • Driving too fast creates the following hazards: It reduces the ability of a driver to maneuver safely around objects in the roadway and through curves, increases the impact force of a crash, and makes it more difficult to react properly to dangerous situations.
  • Road rage is when a traffic incident leads to a physical assault of a person or an automobile. Road rage is a criminal offense, and incarceration is one of the possible punishments.
  • Last year in Texas, road rage was a contributing factor in 1,114 traffic collisions.

Learn more about driving concerns for workers in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor


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North Texas Hurt at Work Attorney – New Website Launched for Texas Employer Traffic Safety Program – Part 2

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

English: A sign that states "No Texting W...

English: A sign that states “No Texting While Driving” in West University Place, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Texas Employer Traffic Safety teamed up to launch a website at txdrivingconcern.org. Automobile crashes are among the top causes of workplace fatalities in the United States. Employers in Texas alone spend more than $3 billion in costs related to injuries and fatalities on and off the job. The latest information on driving-related concerns are posted on the new website, including on topics such as impaired driving, passenger restraint, aggressive driving, and distracted driving.

The new Texas Employer Traffic Safety website contains information that can be used in group settings, to make employees more aware of the hazards of distracted driving. The following is from the site regarding keeping your eyes on the road instead of on other tasks, such as texting or talking while driving:

  • The average amount of time a person’s eyes are off the road while texting is 5 seconds, which, at 55 miles per hour, is like traveling the length of a football field wearing a blindfold.
  • What is especially alarming about the driving distraction of texting is that the task involves cognitive, visual, and manual distraction, all at the same time.
  • Your chances of getting into a crash are between 8 and 23 times greater, when texting while driving.
  • Even when drivers use hands-free technology while driving, they miss up to 50% of what’s around them, while looking through the windshield. Experts say that the brain can toggle quickly between tasks but cannot do two things simultaneously. Processing of moving images is decreased by one-third when listening or talking to someone on the phone.

Learn more about driving concerns for workers in Part 1 of this ongoing series.

–Guest Contributor

 

http://txdrivingconcern.org/


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Injury Lawyer: Construction Work Zones are More Dangerous in Texas – Part 2

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Construction worker in San Francisco.

Construction worker in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Speeding in work zones is extremely dangerous, and traffic ticket fines are doubled if you get caught doing it. Actually, whatever moving violation you are ticketed for, the amount of the usual fine is multiplied by two if the violation occurs in a construction work zone.

The following is information regarding the conditions which must exist for a violation to be categorized as in a work zone:

  • The work zone must be appropriately marked with signage that indicates workers are present.
  • There must be workers in the work zone at the time of the traffic violation. Maintenance and construction workers are not usually present in work zones on weekends or during non-business hours.
  • To possibly save yourself some money, take a picture of the area where you are ticketed, to prove no workers were present and therefore not all of the necessary factors existed in order to double your fine.
  • The best thing to do, obviously, is to avoid being ticketed. Obey traffic signs, especially in work zones. Remember that roadway construction workers have families just like everyone else, and they are vulnerable to traffic.

The following are driver safety tips for work zones, provided by the Texas Department of Transportation:

  • Obey posted work zone speed limits, which requires slowing down. Speeding is one of the top two causes of crashes in work zones.
  • Be alert to what is going on around you. Heavy equipment and road construction workers may be just a few feet from your vehicle as you pass.
  • Be patient in work zones. The delays caused by construction can be very frustrating, but slowing down and going the correct speed usually only adds a few additional minutes to your drive.
  • Plan ahead, especially if you are concerned about being late to an appointment. With some research, you can find out where work zones are and avoid those areas.

Read Part 1 and this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Industrial Accident Injury Attorney: Construction Work Zones are More Dangerous in Texas

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

English: Construction Zone - World Trade Cente...

English: Construction Zone – World Trade Center Deutsch: Baustelle – World Trade Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Work zone statistics that were released last week revealed unpleasant statistics for Texans in particular. Not only are there more construction work zone fatalities in Texas than any other state in the U.S., but there were 20% more construction zone fatalities in 2014 than in the previous year. Last year 146 people died in construction work zone crashes, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). It was also National Work Zone Awareness Week from March 23-27, an initiative timed for spring, when there is an increasing amount of construction that motorists deal with. The goal of the public service campaign is to reduce the number of deaths in work zones.

Although it is always important to respect roadside workers and protect them as they work in traffic, motorists are the ones who die in work zone accidents most frequently. John Barton, TxDOT Executive Director, said that 87% of last year’s work zone fatalities were motorists, not construction zone workers.

The theme of this year’s focus on work zone awareness was “Expect the Unexpected,” which could be considered ironic because the two leading causes of crashes in work zones are speeding and driver inattention, both of which are completely avoidable and within the control of the motorist.

The key message of National Work Zone Awareness Week is to use extra caution in work zones. Pay attention to road signs, and slow down when approaching construction zones.

Read more about the dangers of both speeding and driver inattention, the top causes of work zone accidents, in this continuing series.

–Guest Contributor


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Rowlett Job Accident Injury Attorney: Quick Tips for Driving Safely in Texas Construction Zones

Monday, October 13th, 2014

മലയാളം: Bangalore Electronic City Fly Over (El...

മലയാളം: Bangalore Electronic City Fly Over (Elevated HighWay)during construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), between 100 and 200 people die in construction zones in Texas every year. There are about 2,500 active “cone zones” on Texas roads at any given time. If motorists don’t take the time to care about the safety of the workers and others on the roadways, the potential dangers in construction zones are heightened.

A “cone zone” is a part of a roadway where road construction is underway; and it is marked by signs, barrels, and cones. Signs directing traffic to slow down and proceed with caution are too frequently ignored. Impatient drivers who don’t want the stress of waiting in long lines often try to speed through construction zones, which puts many people in jeopardy. Speeding is the number one cause of injuries and fatalities in highway construction work zones.

The following are safety tips for driving through highway construction zones or cone zones:

  • Plan trips ahead of time and try to choose routes which bypass construction zones.
  • Be alert to orange and black signs and heed the information and warnings.
  • Be alert.
  • Slow down and heed posted speed limits.
  • Avoid all types of distractions, including using cell phones and navigation systems.
  • Increase the following distance behind other automobiles.
  • When changing lanes, use correct merging techniques.
  • Use turn signals.
  • Drive courteously, cautiously, and with patience.
  • Be prompt in response to road workers and flaggers.
  • Take extra care when driving next to drop-offs because they can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
  • Stay in one lane.
  • Turn on your headlights, to increase your visibility.
  • Do not make abrupt maneuvers.
  • Expect the unexpected.
  • If you come to a full stop, turn on emergency flashers.
  • When driving near road workers, drive slowly and take extra care.
  • Give people who are exhibiting road rage plenty of room.

–Guest Contributor

 


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Job Accident Lawyer: TxDOT Works to Raise Awareness About the Dangers of Roadway Construction Work Zones – Part 2

Monday, October 6th, 2014

The interchange of IH-35 and Texas State Highw...

The interchange of IH-35 and Texas State Highway 45 under construction at 30.480, -97.674, Round Rock, Texas, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TxDOT, the Federal Highway Administration, and other transportation partners urge motorists to take appropriate safety precautions in construction areas and consider the following when traveling through work zones:

  • Roadway construction work zones are hazardous for workers and for motorists who drive through a maze of narrowing lanes, fewer lanes, barrels, and signs.
  • Slowing down to drive at the work zone speed limits posted is essential. In fact, speeding is among the leading causes of crashes in transportation work zones.
  • Remember that traffic fines are doubled for violations that occur in work zones.
  • Be alert in construction zones. Workers may be only a few feet away from passing motorists. Heavy equipment can also be just a few feet away.
  • Be patient in work zones. A natural result of highway construction is that there are travel delays, which can be frustrating. Slowing down to appropriate speeds takes only a few extra minutes.
  • Plan ahead. If you will be traveling through a work zone, leave earlier than usual so that you can reach your destination on time, driving at posted speed limits.
  • If workers are present when a moving violation occurs, fines can be as high as $400.

Awareness about work zone safety is a critical issue not only for the workers on Texas roads but also for motorists. TxDOT is continually increasing safety measures and reaching out to the public to educate motorists about work zone hazards.

See Part 1 of this two-part series.

–Guest Contributor

 

 

 

 


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Waco Work Injury Lawyer: TxDOT Works to Raise Awareness About the Dangers of Roadway Construction Work Zones

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

There are certain risks on any job, but few workers have the unique added danger of working alongside moving traffic. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recognizes these hazards and wages public awareness campaigns which urge motorists to pay attention in roadway construction and maintenance work zones, where more than 100 people, on average, are killed annually in Texas. Most of the people who die in these types of accidents are motorists, and the remaining are construction workers. The leading causes of crashes in work zones are failure to control speed and driver inattention.

At any given time in Texas, it is not unusual for there to be 2,500 active roadway work zones, creating the potential for crashes. Motorists and workers alike are potentially endangered in roadway construction zones, as drivers maneuver through complex lane changes, signs, and barrels.

In 2013 in Texas, there were 17,266 collisions in roadway maintenance and construction zones, resulting in 115 construction work zone fatalities and 3,522 serious injuries.

In April every year, TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration collaborate with other organizations linked to transportation to sponsor National Work Zone Awareness Week.

Learn more in this continuing series about National Work Zone Awareness Week and safety tips for drivers, to avoid causing crashes in roadway construction work zones.

–Guest Contributor


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Dallas Work Accident Injury Attorney: Highway Construction Work Sites are Dangerous for Workers and Drivers

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

മലയാളം: Bangalore Electronic City Fly Over (El...

മലയാളം: Bangalore Electronic City Fly Over (Elevated HighWay)during construction (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On-the-job injuries that happen on road construction work sites are not uncommon in Texas. Apparently, according to a new study from Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), motorists may be as much or more in danger of being injured or killed at roadway construction sites as the workers are. Actually, statistics from the report show that there is a greater risk for drivers and passengers than the highway construction workers themselves.

Fifty-seven percent of Texas highway contractors reported that, over the past year, at least one collision involving an automobile occurred in a work zone, according to AGC.

Here are more statistics about highway construction work site injuries and fatalities:

  • Among those who participated in the survey, in work-site collisions, construction workers were injured 14% of the time; and 54% of the Texas contractors reported that drivers or passengers in cars that were traveling through the work zones were injured in the crashes.
  • Of Texas highway contractors surveyed, 7% reported that workers were fatally injured in on-site crashes; 15% of the time, drivers or passengers were killed.

The full study involved national statistics, but Texas is among six states with participation from enough contractors that a statewide report was warranted. Comparing the national to the Texas report, Texas has more crashes at highway construction sites than the national average.

The report showed that 74% of contractors surveyed believe that more barriers at construction sites would create a safer environment and that the action probably isn’t taken because of associated costs.

–Guest Contributor

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Dallas Work Injury Attorney: TxDoT Adds New Safety Measures to Protect Construction Workers

Monday, July 8th, 2013

IMG_2469 Construction Bedford 011612

(Photo credit: nffcnnr)

Texas Department of Transportation (TxDoT) worker Ciro Lozano, age 41, was killed on Patriot Freeway (US 54) near El Paso, Texas, late last month while working on a construction maintenance project.  Tragically, Lozano became part of a statistic that TxDoT is working to change; Texas is one of the states with the most work-related fatalities every year.  Three new devices will soon be used in El Paso to warn motorists about construction zones while protecting the safety of workers on the roadway.

  1. Instead of construction workers waving flags to warn driver of construction projects, automatic flaggers will be used.
  2. Rumble strips will be placed near road maintenance projects where the speed limit is 70 miles per hour.  The rubbery black strips are about an inch high and have mini speed bumps which serve to warn motorists to slow down.  Blanco Del Valle, spokesperson for TxDoT, said that vehicles won’t be damaged by the rumble strips; but drivers will notice the vibration and hopefully heed warnings to slow down for the construction zone.
  3. Left turn arrows will soon include a yellow signal, indicating that traffic can turn left but must yield to oncoming cars.

There were 122 worker fatalities in the U.S. in 2011, according to reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and, among the 50 states, Texas had the most worker deaths in work zones in 2011.  Transportation incidents accounted for 76% of roadway work zone fatalities.

Texas laws do not always allow injured workers to sue their employers directly; it depends upon whether or not the company carries Workers’ Compensation insurance.  If as a result of an employer’s gross negligence an employee dies, by Texas law, certain members of the family can sue the employer, even if the employer carried workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  If a contracting company is at fault for an injury accident in the workplace, however, there is a potential for filing a claim to recover such damages as medical costs, loss of pay while recuperating, and pain and suffering.

–Guest Contributor

 

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