Road Hazards Near Construction Zones That Cause Accidents
Road hazards near construction zones that cause accidents can end up seriously injuring drivers and pedestrians. When you get into one of these accidents, it’s critical to call Heiting & Irwin, Riverside personal injury lawyers who are here for you in your time of need.
Heiting & Irwin have been helping clients since 1976, and compensation for our clients has ranged from tens of thousands of dollars to multi-million dollar awards. In total, we’ve recovered over $400 million for clients. We will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve, too. We invite you to contact us today for your free consultation.
Why Road Hazards Near Construction Zones Are Dangerous
Driving near a construction zone can be very dangerous because of the different types of road hazards that could be around the site. For example, there could be potholes, missing traffic signs, traffic signals that aren’t working, unexpected traffic and/or equipment, improperly maintained roads and bridges, and untrimmed or poorly maintained foliage like trees and bushes around the site.
Construction equipment might obstruct the roadway. For instance, a crane could suddenly collapse or workers might accidentally throw their shovels or other things in the street. Perhaps they left a wheelbarrow on the side of the road or a bucket of concrete in the way of cars. They may have also left a barrier where they shouldn’t have. Signage may be confusing or even absent.
Other drivers may be distracted or inattentive. They could end up causing an accident. Or, drivers may be texting or making phone calls while they’re waiting in line to get through a construction site and not paying attention to their surroundings or to the other cars on the road.
How to Safely Drive Near a Construction Zone
When you’re driving near a construction zone, you have to be extra cautious since it’s much more dangerous than driving on a regular, clear street.
While it’s always important to eliminate distractions while driving, it’s also critical to do this when you’re sitting in a line of cars waiting for your turn to move. Don’t text and drive or look at your phone. Drivers should keep their eyes on the road at all times.
Proper distance between cars should be maintained as one may need to make some abrupt stops. A good rule of thumb is to keep two to three cars’ length between your car and the other vehicles. If there’s inclement weather, following distance must be increased.
You should also be on the lookout for construction site workers, even if they are not out in the open. They could be standing behind equipment or signs. When they signal for traffic to slow down or stop, do it. Don’t try to speed through because it could end in a disaster. If you see a lane is closing up ahead, then merge as soon as you can and don’t wait until the last minute to do it.
Of course, use your turn signals at all times and turn on your lights as needed. Be patient and don’t let road rage take over, even if you’re in a frustrating situation.
Who Is Liable for a Construction Zone Accident?
There are a few different parties who may be responsible for a construction zone accident.
The first is the driver. If the driver is speeding through it, not following directions, driving while distracted, or engaging in otherwise reckless behavior on the road, the driver might be at fault, or partially at fault.
The second party is another driver who may have been driving dangerously on the road.
The construction company working on the job site may be at fault. It depends on why the accident occurred. If they failed to put up the proper signage or misplaced it, they were not following safety protocols, left their equipment in the street, or operating their equipment while traffic was coming, then they may be held responsible.
An outside contractor could be at fault too. For instance, if a cement company was delivering cement to the construction site, and wheelbarrows fell off the back of their truck because they weren’t properly secured, and caused an accident, they could possibly be held liable.
If a manufacturer created a piece of equipment or materials that ended up causing an accident, they might be at fault as well. For example, let’s say a worker was using a crane when it fell and crashed on top of a car. The worker was doing everything right, but the crane was poorly constructed. Then, the manufacturer could be at fault.
You may not know who is liable until a personal injury lawyer gets involved. They will do a thorough investigation to determine who the defendant is or should be and what your rights are.
Settlements for a Construction Zone Car Accident
If you were in a car accident near a construction zone and it wasn’t your fault, then you could receive compensation for damages, your medical bills, future care, loss of enjoyment and companionship, pain and suffering, emotional distress, your car repairs, and wages you lost, or will lose, because you were out of work.
The amount of your settlement is going to depend on the severity of your injuries. A catastrophic injury that will require lifelong care dictates that a settlement or award could be higher since you have current and future medical bills to pay and you may not be able to work anymore. These will be part of your entitlement.
When you call up your personal injury lawyer, it’s important to provide them with all evidence you have including your medical records, any witness statements and information, photographs of your injuries and damage to your car, any video you took, and your records. Your lawyer will investigate and contact the defendant(s) and may attempt to reach a settlement. Typically, most personal injury cases end up settling. However, if settlement proposals are rejected, your lawyer can take the case to trial.
No matter what course of action you decide to take, your lawyers will stand by your side and advocate for you when you need them the most.
Getting in Touch With Heiting & Irwin
If you got injured because of road hazards or in or near a construction zone, then it’s time to get in touch with Heiting & Irwin. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400.