Accidents inside construction zones are not uncommon. These are areas where there is a significant amount of activity taking place on and around the roadway, and this can be confusing for drivers. However, who will be held liable in the event an accident occurs in a construction zone?
Determining liability after a vehicle accident in a construction area can be challenging, and liability may fall to one or more parties involved. Here, we want to discuss the steps that will be taken to determine liability in a construction zone accident.
A Driver Could be Liable
Just like any other crash on the roadway, an accident in a construction zone could certainly be caused by the negligent actions of a driver. This could include the victim in the case as well as other drivers on the roadway also in and around the construction zone.
Unsafe driving is likely the most common cause of construction zone accidents. Many people do not expect construction zones, or they simply find them as an inconvenience. This can lead to some drivers operating their vehicles recklessly in an attempt to get to their destination. Some of the most common causes of construction zone accidents include:
- Driving while distracted by phones or other devices
- Speeding or operating too fast for conditions
- Operating while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Tailgating other vehicles
- Weaving between lanes of traffic
- Failing to yield the right of way
If you are involved in a construction zone accident, and another driver causes the accident, then their insurance will likely cover your expenses. However, there will need to be an investigation conducted by law enforcement officials and possibly your own attorneys in order to recover compensation in these situations.
The Construction Company Could be Liable
It is also possible for a construction company to be held liable for an accident at a construction zone near the roadway. Construction companies are responsible for establishing proper warning systems for traffic that is expected to cross through the construction zone. This often involves completely changing traffic patterns. It is imperative for the construction company to create clearly marked lanes for all drivers approaching the construction zone. These warnings and markers should provide drivers with sufficient time for their vehicle to adjust, slow down, and enter the flow of traffic.
Some of the most common causes of construction zone negligence by a construction company include the following:
- Improper or missing signs
- Construction employee driver error
- Inadequately marked hazards
- Debris scattered on or around the roadway
A Government Agency Could be Liable
In some cases, state, county, or local municipal governments are responsible for construction zones around the roadway. These entities and their employees could be held liable if they fail to take the steps necessary to keep drivers safe, much in the same way that the construction companies could be held liable. However, holding government entities liable for vehicle accidents is more complex, and there are shorter deadlines in place for filing claims against a government agency.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you or somebody you love has been injured in an accident and construction zone, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. These cases can be challenging, particularly when determining liability. Your lawyer will begin gathering evidence to determine the fault of any other driver or the construction company involved.
Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.