Road construction can make driving extremely dangerous. Traffic rules may change, and lines on the road may not always be what they seem. Workers may be close by as well. Driving irresponsibly in a construction zone can result in more damage than your average car accident.
When the construction company or road crew is partly responsible for the crash, they may have legal liability as well. This includes situations where the construction is paid for or commissioned by the government.
Mistakes that Lead to Road Construction Accidents
When workers do not follow proper regulations, these errors can result in accidents. Some of the most common construction mistakes that lead to accidents are described below.
- Improper signage.
Drivers need warnings well in advance of road construction. Without this notice, they may not have ample time to slow down properly. Federal and state regulations dictate which types of signs should be used and where they should be placed in relation to the construction. Failure to abide by these laws can result in accidents and injuries.
- Sharp turns.
The road often changes in construction zones. However, construction companies are required to give motorists gradual turns at lower speeds to reduce the chance of an accident. Sharp turns at higher speeds make losing control much more likely, and the construction company may be liable for the crash.
- Leaving hazards on the road.
Uneven pavement, equipment, and moving traffic cones can all be dangerous hazards in a construction zone. There are regulations, however, regarding how uneven a payment can be before motorists cannot drive in that area. Appropriate warnings regarding these hazards should also be available to drivers as well. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prevent debris on the road in certain weather conditions. It is always a good idea to drive defensively in a construction zone.
Personal Injury Liability After a Road Construction Accident
Both construction workers and drivers may be able to sue a construction company for failure to keep the area safe. The construction company has a duty to maintain the area by following federal and state safety regulations. They must also take reasonable measures to keep the area safe. It may be difficult to determine what constitute a “safe” construction area because of the many potential hazards, but a personal injury attorney can help you with this process.
If the failure to keep the area safe results in injuries or property damage, the construction company may be legally liable to compensate you. This compensation may include:
- Costs to repair property damage
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Liability for a road construction accident will depend on a great deal on how you were driving through the construction area. If you were speeding and not able to maintain control of your vehicle, you may not be able to assert a personal injury claim at all. It is important to follow the posted signs regarding speed and navigation for your own safety and for the sake of a personal injury lawsuit that may occur later. Talk to a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer for more information.