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Motor vehicle accidents and work fatalities


Motor vehicle accidents and work fatalities

South Carolina residents may be surprised to learn that motor vehicle accidents are to blame for a little more than a third of all on-the-job deaths that transpire in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during a seven-year period from 2003 to 2010, people working near heavily traveled areas such as highways and industrial sites were at the greatest risk of death by a motor vehicle.

The report found that annually, vehicle accidents killed slightly less than 1,300 public highway workers and slightly more than 300 industrial or off-highway employees. Additionally, 338 pedestrian employees were killed when a vehicle hit them.

Fatal job-related injuries are also very expensive for business owners, costing them about $60 billion each year according to some reports. It has been found that business owners pay about $74,000 for each non-life threatening injury and $500,000 for each on-the-job death as it applies to liability issues and direct costs.

People who work with heavy machinery and large vehicles on highways and busy roadways regularly face dangers that could result in serious injury or death. A crush injury, a back injury or a neck injury can leave a construction worker with a permanent impairment or disability, for example. In South Carolina, individuals who have suffered serious work injuries for any reason can file for workers’ compensation benefits. In the case that the work accident victim is denied those benefits or the benefits are reduced, a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help ensure that the worker receives the full amount he or she deserves. In the event that the accident was caused by the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible to maintain a personal injury action as well.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Motor Vehicle Safety”, December 20, 2014