Have You Been Injured in a Highway Construction Zone by Negligence?
We all dread coming across a construction zone when driving along the highways. The snarled up traffic, impatient drivers, and improvised roads that are in bad condition are not pleasant to any driver. But road construction and maintenance work are core to road safety.
Therefore, it is the responsibility of all parties involved to act within their duty of care to other road users. Driving within the speed limit, being alert to your surroundings, and following the signage, are among the precautions to take while approaching a construction zone.
Unfortunately, some drivers might not be cautious, signage might be faded, or a machine faulty. Accidents that occur in construction zones cause many injuries because there are chances of multiple car collisions. In 2017 alone, these crashes claimed 799 lives, recording a 2% rise from the following year.
Here are some important things you need to know, should you be injured in a highway construction zone.
Common Causes of Highway Construction Zone Accidents by Negligence
In a majority of such incidents, collisions are caused by one or multiple parties’ negligence.
Negligence by Motorists
- A driver who is running late might be tempted to drive past the allowed limit in that construction zone. Not only is this punishable by hefty fines, but it can also cause a fatal chain-reaction accident.
- Disregard for the signage, especially by motorists who frequent a particular construction zone
- Merging vehicles into a single lane
- A driver may merge in too slowly or at dangerously high speeds, causing a rear end accident pile-up.
- Distracted driving
- This also occurs among drivers who mistakenly think that they are too familiar with the construction area.
Negligence by Road Construction Crew and Related Parties
- Unmarked or unsafe sidewalks
- Construction vehicles and machinery serving a blindspot to other road users
- The design of improvised or diverging roads forcing motorists to make dangerous turns
- The barricades, signage, and other devices placed too close to the construction zone, giving drivers little to no time to adjust accordingly
- Absence of any construction signage while some are poorly placed
- Detour directions that are unclear or not visible at all to the driver’s eyes
I Have Been Injured in a Construction Zone by Negligence. What Should I do?
The first thing you should do is to call the police and other emergency response services and wait until they arrive. Leaving an accident scene can easily be used against you in a court, whether you were at fault or not.
Next, give your personal injury lawyer a call. Highway construction zone accidents tend to be complex by involving multiple cars and entities. If you are looking to get meaningful compensation for all your damages, an attorney is your best bet. It is also essential to notify your insurance company about the accident but refrain from going into detail.
Document and record details about the accident scene that may help your case when proving fault. Things such as images of unclear signage, presence of debris and danger zones, and witness information are crucial for your case. In addition to this, get the correct insurance and contact information of the other parties involved.
Finally, seek medical attention without fail. Follow the doctor’s treatment plan and keep a record of the bills and any other pertinent information
Who Is Liable for My Injuries?
Depending on the cause of a highway construction zone accident, you might be up against one or all of the following parties:
- Highway government agencies tasked with overseeing the construction
- Private companies and contractors constructing the road
- Your insurance company, in case you have a personal injury coverage
- Vehicle, machinery, and signage manufacturers for product liability