Have you been injured in a construction zone accident? There are many possible causes for these types of accidents, and a variety of people and companies who may potentially be responsible. Phoenix personal injury attorney John Kelly is experienced in establishing fault in auto crash cases. Call now for a free consultation.
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What is a Construction Zone Accident?
A construction or work zone accident is any crash that takes place within, at or near the approach to, or at or near the exit from, a construction zone. To be considered a construction zone accident, there is no requirement that construction workers be working, or even be present, at the time of the crash.
The issue of whether the accident took place in a construction zone is usually followed by the question of who is responsible for the crash. There is no single answer that will fit each and every situation. In some cases, it will be the construction company. In others, it will be another driver. In still others, it may be a combination of factors.
Liability of the Construction Company
When a construction project, large or small, is undertaken on any roadway, certain precautions are required. Failure to take one or more of these precautions can lead to an accident. Here are some of the ways in which the construction company may be negligent, and therefore be held liable for injuries and other losses suffered in a construction zone accident:
- Poor construction zone design. When a construction project is started, it is essential that the construction zone itself be designed safely. This means, among other things, that the design does not create hazards such as forcing those driving on the roadway to make sudden turns.
- Failure to post adequate warning signs. Construction zones need to be properly marked so that motorists are aware that as they approach, there may be detours, lane changes, or other maneuvers that must be made to navigate through the zone. Failure to post signs advising not only of the fact that there is construction, but also the specifics of how to navigate through the site, constitutes negligence
- Detour and warning signs inaccurate or not visible. A construction company may post all the signs that may be required under the circumstances, but they may be posted in such a way that they are not visible to the drivers of oncoming vehicles. In addition, if the signs are inaccurate, it could spell disaster for those approaching the construction site.
- Improper placement of vehicles, barricades or signs. Placing signs or barricades, or operating vehicles, too close to moving traffic lanes can block or impede the passage of vehicles through the construction site. This can easily lead to a collision, causing damage and injuries.
These are just some of the negligent actions by the construction company that could lead to liability to those who are injured in work zone accidents.
Liability of Other Drivers
Not every accident that occurs in a construction zone is the fault of the construction company. As with any auto collision, other drivers can be the cause. In some cases, the reason for a crash where the driver is at fault, at least in part, is distracted driving. Some of the results of texting and driving, or otherwise not paying attention as a driver approaches a construction zone, are:
- Ignoring cones and signs. The car or truck strikes construction equipment, even though the road is properly marked.
- Failure to observe stopped vehicles ahead. A vehicle properly stops or slows down as it approaches the construction zone, but the driver of the car behind it fails to notice and rear ends the car in front.
- A driver approaches a work zone but is speeding, and that makes it impossible for him or her to navigate through the stop-and-go traffic in the construction zone.
- Failure to properly merge. Many construction sites require that lanes merge within the construction zone. Failure to observe the merge warning could lead to a collision with other drivers.
Failure to pay attention, failure to heed warning signs, and failure to observe the speed limit can all lead to serious accidents in construction zones.
Work Zone Accidents in Phoenix, AZ
If you have been injured in a construction zone crash, contact John Kelly, an experienced personal injury attorney, to discuss liability for the crash, and provide you with your best options for obtaining compensation for your loss.
Call the Kelly Law Team at 602-283-4122