Regardless of a driver’s experience or how cautiously they operate their car, construction zones are hazardous. Drivers and workers are at risk of sustaining injuries in these zones. If you have been in a construction zone accident, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your damages and injuries. When car accidents happen in construction zones, victims have additional legal options. An experienced attorney will discuss your rights during an initial consultation.
Legal Options for Construction Zone Accident Victims
After you have been involved in a serious car accident, you can sue the negligent party. For instance, if you are rear-ended, you can pursue compensation against the at-fault party who hurt you. The car owner may be liable if they knowingly allowed a reckless driver to drive their car. If you sustained minor injuries, you should go through your insurance carrier for injury compensation.
But, you may have other legal options if the accident took place in a construction zone. If you operate your car on a roadway, you could hold the owner of the roadway accountable for the accident. Every individual or company that occupies a property has a duty of care to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors. A construction company hired to do maintenance on a roadway becomes an occupier of this roadway. Thus, the construction company has a duty of care to keep it safe for drivers who travel through it. You have legal recourse against the company or one of its workers if you sustained injuries in an accident in this roadway.
When Can You Hold a Construction Company Liable?
A construction company that fails to meet its duty of care could be held liable for any resulting damage. Also, construction companies are liable for the actions of their employees, including contractors and subcontractors. They can be held liable if they fail to clear hazardous debris from the roadway, did not place proper warning signs, designed a route that forces drivers to make sudden maneuvers, or moved construction equipment on the roadway without warning.
Sometimes, another driver’s actions may have caused a construction zone-related accident. This driver can be held liable if they drive their car beyond the posted speed limit, drive while distracted, fail to pay attention to visible warning signs, did not keep a safe driving distance, or did not follow signs and flag directions. In some instances, both the driver’s negligence and the construction company may both bear some responsibility. This can happen when a driver swerves into your lane to avoid construction debris and causes an accident.
Wayne Probert is a senior reporter at Zobuz, covering state and national politics, and he is a grantee with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Before joining Zobuz, he worked as a freelance journalist in Kentucky, having been published by dozens of outlets including NPR, the Center for Media.