Local and national roads are the lifeblood of this country, allowing for transportation of both people and goods. With the heavy use of roads and highways experience on a yearly basis, in addition to the ravages of climate and weather, these roadways need regular repair. Traveling through a construction zone is not like passing through normal road conditions.
Additional hazards and the presence of workers make the likelihood of a car accident much higher. The common obstacles encountered in construction zones pose a danger to other drivers, as well as the work crew performing repairs and/or construction. In fact, the congested nature of construction zones usually leads to accidents with a larger number of vehicles and more severe injuries. Further, while other motorists are obvious sources of fault, other people and entities involved with the project may also be liable for any accident-related injuries.
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Rules for Driving in Construction Work Zones
Construction work zones, because of the need to restrict access to part of the road for repair and replacement, create very congested conditions, and the frequent need to divert traffic in different directions to avoid barriers, equipment, and workers. To reduce the dangers work zones present, a separate set of driving rules applies to vehicles moving through these areas, with speed reductions and cautious driving being the most important restraints drivers are expected to follow. Violators are subject to additional fines if caught. Finally, being cognizant of lane shifts, and giving road workers as much room as possible, are other precautions advised by the Virginia Department of Transportation for better safety.
Who May Be Responsible for Injuries
As in other car accidents, the at-fault party must be identified before they may be ordered to pay damages. Construction zone accidents add one extra element because, depending upon the circumstances, the construction company could be liable for the collision. Construction companies have a duty to operate their project in a safe manner, to avoid creating additional dangers, and to warn of existing dangers. Failing to fulfill these duties could expose the company to liability if an accident occurs in the construction zone. Examples of situations that would indicate the construction company was responsible, rather than a driver, include:
- A construction zone route that forces drivers to make unsafe maneuvers
- Insufficient or misplaced warning signs
- Placing equipment and barricades too close to moving lanes of traffic
- Detour directions that are not visible
Of course, other drivers may be responsible as well. It is all about establishing who was negligent and whether that negligence directly led to an injury. Some common behaviors from drivers that lead to accidents in construction zones include:
- Hitting a warning sign or barricade that causes a chain reaction
- Rear-ending another driver who properly slowed down or stopped
- Distracted drivers who did not realize the existence of a work zone until it was too late to take appropriate precautions
Speak to a Virginia Car Accident Attorney
All car accidents have the potential to permanently change the trajectory of a person’s life. If you suffered injuries in a car accident, and need compensation to find some amount of recovery, talk to a Virginia car accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton to find out all your legal options.
Car accident injuries should not be ignored, and you deserve compensation for your suffering. Our firm has more than three decades of experience successfully advocating for injured victims and their families and will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve.