Road construction: “Give ’em a brake”

Michigan workers comp lawyer warns about the dangers of road construction and how motorists should pay attention to traffic signs.

Summer is just around the corner and orange traffic cones have already started popping up. It’s once again road construction season in Michigan!
Michigan’s Give ’em a Brake Safety Coalition is hoping drivers pay close attention to a new highway work zone speed limit sign. The new sign, “Where Workers Present 45,” means that motorists must reduce their speed to 45 where workers are present in highway work zones.

We believe this issue deserves attention because of the serious risk that road construction workers face every day. Motorists slowing down and following the speed limit can go a long way to preventing serious injury and death.

The human cost

Highway construction is a very dangerous job. The potential for injury or death from a speeding car is a serious concern. Nothing can replace the loss of a family member.

When a construction worker is killed on-the-job, there are specific benefits that must be paid under workers comp in Michigan. The first is a burial allowance up to $6,000.00. The second is 500 weeks of wage loss benefits.

There must be a dependent to qualify for wage loss benefits under workers comp. The question of dependency is a complicated legal issue.

A spouse must prove that he or she was dependent on the deceased worker to get compensation. It must be determined how much the deceased worker actually contributed to the surviving spouse.

Children under the age of 16 are generally considered dependent.  A child over the age of 16 may have to prove factual dependence.  A child may also be entitled to additional benefits beyond 500 weeks of lost wages under certain circumstances.

What about the at-fault driver

Workers comp is not the only source of recovery for a death related to an automobile accident. The victim’s family may also have a claim against the negligent driver.

While workers comp benefits are limited from the employer, additional damages are available through a third-party lawsuit. These include pain and suffering as well as loss of consortium.

The workers comp insurance company may have a lien on any third-party recovery. Consult with an experienced workers comp lawyer because insurance company lien rights are extremely limited in this situation.

Where to turn for help

It is important to speak with a workers comp lawyer immediately after an accident to make sure that you do not miss out on important benefits. You could be forever time barred if you do not act quickly.

Even if you are getting paid workers comp benefits on a voluntary basis, it is a good idea to get a second opinion. We recently represented a woman who lost her husband in a work-related accident. She was receiving substantially less than what the law required. The insurance company claimed it had calculated the correct wage loss benefits but was wrong.

To speak with one of our Michigan workers comp lawyers, call (855) 221-2667 for a free telephone or office consultation. We never charge a fee unless you are successful with your case.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

FAQs about workers compensation to help protect you

Contact our Michigan workers comp lawyers

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Dougtone.

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