Road Construction Accidents
Los Angeles Road Construction Accident Attorneys
There are about 400,000 miles of paved roadway in California, including interstate highways, freeways, and expressways, that require continuous maintenance. Under normal circumstances, safely navigating the roads in the state is a daunting challenge for any driver, however, work zones create unique hazards and dangers for construction workers and motorists alike. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by road construction, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
J&Y Law Firm is the premier personal injury firm serving clients throughout northern and southern California. Our legal team has extensive experience pursuing claims arising from road construction accidents and a well deserved reputation for enforcing the rights of our clients.
What is a work zone?
Generally, a work zone is a stretch of roadway undergoing any type of construction, including road maintenance, new road construction, or utility work. In order to protect workers and make room for equipment, lanes are often narrowed by protective cones, barriers and signs and drivers are required to proceed with caution.
Causes of Work Zone Accidents
At times, collisions in work zones may be the fault of a driver. In particular, work zones typically have reduced speed limits, and speeding is illegal because of the dangers it poses to workers and other drivers. Additionally, unsafe driving habits such as failing to obey construction zone signs, tailgating, and distracted driving contribute to numerous work zone accidents. In these situations, a driver who causes an accident may be held liable.
On the other hand, the entity responsible for the work zone, either a private company or a government agency such as the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), has a duty of care to keep the construction zone safe for both workers and motorists. Moreover state and federal regulations require that safety measures be implemented to warn drivers of the work zone and direct traffic.
Despite these requirements, road construction accidents occur for the following reasons:
- Improper Signage – Motorists must be given ample warning of road construction. Safety regulations require the use of certain types of signs, and also specify the placement and number of signs to be used. Failing to use proper warning signs can lead to accidents, injuring motorists, construction workers, or both.
- Sharp Turns – Safety rules mandate how sharply and at what speeds motorists can be required to turn. Without proper warnings and instructions, motorists may be forced to negotiate turns that are too sharp, leading to accidents.
- Dangerous Pavement Conditions – Although active road construction often results in temporary, uneven pavement, failing to mark uneven pavement with appropriate warning signs to proceed with caution and reduce speed can be hazardous to motorists.
- Post Construction Road Conditions – Car accidents can be caused by poor road conditions that remain after construction has been completed, which may lead to injury claims based on inadequate maintenance.
Other hazards that can contribute to road construction accidents include:
- Collisions with equipment or vehicles
- Debris or equipment left on the roadway
- Improper merging
- Improperly marked or uneven lanes
- Inadequate lighting
- Open manholes
- Sudden, unexpected detours
- Worker or pedestrian runovers and backovers
In order to have a valid claim, an injured construction worker or motorist must be able to demonstrate that the construction company or government agency in charge of the road was negligent and breached its duty of care to keep the construction zone safe. In addition the breach must have resulted in harm such as property damage – the cost to repair or replace a vehicle, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. It is worth noting that a notice of claim must be filed within 6 months of the injury, or discovery of the injury, before filing a lawsuit against Caltrans or another government agency.
Experienced Work Zone Accident Attorneys
At J&Y Law Firm, we are dedicated to keeping work zones safe for both construction workers and motorists. By conducting a thorough investigation and collaborating with a respected network of accident reconstruction specialists, we work tirelessly to determine the cause of road construction accidents and identify the negligent parties.
Although most injury claims are settled through intricate and detailed negotiations with insurance companies, we are fully prepared to litigate any matter in court. Our legal team has a proven track record of helping work zone accident victims obtain just compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a road construction accident, call our office today for a free consultation or complete the contact form on our website.