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SC Struggles with Construction Accidents and Work Site Safety

State Senator Calls for More Awareness in SC of Construction Accidents and Work Site Safety

construction accidentAnother construction accident occurred earlier this week involving a construction worker with the South Carolina Department of Transportation died in a fatal accident at a work site. This gives rise to a claim for South Carolina Workers Compensation Death Benefits as well as a third party liability claim. He is the third road construction accident death in the last five years, and one South Carolina lawmaker has had enough.

Berkeley County Senator Larry Grooms said that the hit-and-run death of 56-year-old Paul Lewis Fee is a call to the state to tighten work site safety laws.

“I hate that is has to take a tragedy like this to raise awareness to such an important issue,” said Grooms, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee. Sen. Grooms has worked for several years to improve work site safety and increase penalties for drivers who cause construction accidents, hit workers and flee the scene, speed in work zones, and commit other dangerous driving crimes.

Grooms proposed a bill called Peanut’s Law, named after Kenneth “Peanut” Long, a 22-year-old SCDOT worker who was killed in 2013 while working at a road construction site in Williamsburg as a flag man.

“You know you’re in a work zone when you see construction going on. You know you’re in a work zone when you see the orange cones. I think the motorists that are driving understand that they’re entering a work zone and there should be a heightened sense of what’s around them,” said Grooms.

Peanut’s Law would increase fines and the number of points removed from driver’s licenses for endangering the lives of construction workers, as well as pedestrians who need to cross work sites.

According to data from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, since 2004, 150 pedestrians were injured at work sites, and 24 were killed. Grooms hopes that stiffer penalties will cause drivers to have more awareness of potential construction accidents and work site safety, so there will be fewer accidents involving workers or pedestrians at these sites.

“It’s very dangerous being on the side of the highway when you’re performing work for a public good, for a public purpose, and they should be commended for their work, and it shouldn’t be a life threatening situation that they’re in,” he said.

Personal Injury Due to Construction Accident Caused by a Third Party

Not all construction accidents or work site injuries are caused by employer negligence. In many cases, such as road construction accidents, a third party can cause a serious injury or death. These third parties include drivers, equipment manufacturers, or on-site contractors.

In the event of a workplace or construction accident, you should apply for workers compensation, because the nature of your job put you in danger. However, workers comp coverage may not be enough for long-lasting medical bills, lost wages, or funeral costs. You may also consider filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the third party for negligence or reckless endangerment.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Workers File Personal Injury Cases for Construction Accidents

If you or a loved one have suffered, or a loved one has died, due to work site safety issues or a construction accident, you may have a personal injury or wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm immediately for a free consultation on the facts of your case. 803.252.4800



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