Construction on Southern California roads and highways is a common situation drivers must deal with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous when impatient drivers fail to follow traffic rules and safe driving practices in construction zones.
If you are a victim of a construction zone car accident, you could suffer long-term injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, back, and spinal cord injuries, serious burns, and fractures, that can affect your ability to work and the quality of your life. Our San Diego car accident attorney expresses if your crash was caused by the negligence of another driver or the construction company, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Common Types of Construction Zone Car Accidents
There are many ways that you could be injured in a wreck in a construction zone. Some of the most common ways include:
- Rear-end collision. A rear-end collision can occur if a motorist is engaged in distracted driving or is speeding and has insufficient time to stop or slow down. In some cases, this can cause a multi-vehicle crash.
- Unsafe lane change and merging. A construction zone accident can occur when drivers try to make unsafe lane changes to get through the work zone more quickly or fail to merge properly when lanes of traffic are closed due to construction.
- Construction equipment and workers. When construction zones are not clearly marked, cones or barriers are missing, or construction workers or equipment are not kept a safe distance from oncoming traffic, it can cause an accident with a worker or construction equipment.
- Rollover crashes. If a driver does not slow down to a safe speed, they could cause a rollover accident with another driver trying to avoid a collision.
- Median and barrier collisions. Another common type of accident is one with a median or other barrier that is not clearly marked or placed properly.
How Drivers Cause Crashes in Work Zones
Drivers in California must comply with reduced speed limits in work zones that are designed to protect construction workers and other motorists. They also have a duty to move over in order to allow ambulances, police vehicles, other first responders, and disabled vehicles to pass while in a construction zone. Common negligent actions that lead to dangerous crashes include:
- Distracted driving
- Making unsafe lane changes
- Failing to merge safely
- Failing to make a complete stop for upcoming traffic
How Construction Companies Cause Work Zone Accidents
Not all auto collisions in construction zones are caused by negligent drivers. Construction companies and workers have a duty to follow safety regulations. When they fail to do so, they can be liable to injured victims of a construction zone collision. Common ways that they could be negligent include:
- Failing to install proper signs notifying motorists of a construction zone
- Failing to install sufficient barriers and cones
- Not providing sufficient lighting in the work zone
- Creating sudden lane changes
- Not keeping construction workers and equipment a safe distance from oncoming traffic
Five Steps You Should Take After a Construction Zone Collision
You need to take immediate steps to protect your rights if you are involved in a work zone accident. What you do can have a direct impact on the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries. Here are five first steps to take to help build a winning case:
- Call the police. You should contact the police at the crash scene. The officer will conduct an investigation and write a police report. The report can contain helpful information, such as details on how the crash occurred, who was at fault in causing it, and whether anyone received a traffic ticket.
- Get prompt medical care. You should be examined by a doctor within 72 hours—even if you do not think you were hurt. This protects your health and avoids disputes with the insurance company.
- Obtain contact information. Get the contact information of any drivers and their insurance companies so that you can file a claim for compensation. You also need to obtain this information for witnesses to your accident who can help you prove who was negligent in causing your injuries.
- Take pictures. Use your cellphone camera to take pictures of the damage to the vehicles, accident scene, construction zone area and equipment, and your injuries. Ask someone to do this if you are too injured to do it yourself.
- Retain a lawyer. You should retain an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible after your wreck. They can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your case, collect the evidence you need, and fight with the insurance company so that you receive all the damages you deserve for your injuries.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Construction Zone Car Accident
If your collision was caused by another driver, the construction company, or their employees, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries under California law. This can include future damages if you suffered a serious injury that you have not fully recovered from at the time of your settlement. Types of compensation you can recover include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity damages
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages if a family member died in the accident
Contact an Experienced California Car Accident Lawyer Today
Were you or a loved one injured in a construction zone car accident? It can be complicated to determine the cause of your crash and convince the insurance company for the negligent party of their responsibility to fully compensate you for your injuries. You need the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney who will aggressively fight for your rights and is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if it is in your best interest.
To learn how my skilled staff and I can assist you, call my San Diego office or fill out my online form to schedule your free no-obligation consultation today. You can also download my free book, The Ten Secrets You Need to Know About Your Injury Case BEFORE You Call a Lawyer, to start learning about your rights.