Work zones can increase the risk of a car accident, even though they are typically marked by signs warning oncoming cars of what’s ahead.
Work zones are those areas under construction that cannot typically be fully isolated, such as those you can find on highways. Circulation cannot be stopped completely so the construction firm will take other measures to ensure safety.
If an accident occurs, who’s liable?
What Causes Work Zone Accidents?
Many work zone collisions are the result of driver negligence, specifically not being careful while crossing near a work zone, which puts everyone else present at risk, from the driver to the workers, and other vehicles.
Here are some examples of when a driver is liable for these accidents:
- Ignoring construction signs and signals
- Distracted driving
- Inadequate merging
- Road rage, which causes the driver to act erratically
However, some work zone accidents may be caused by the construction company or its employees. Here are some examples of when this could be the case:
- Using inadequate signs, or creating confusion among drivers
- Using equipment which generates excessive lights, that could momentarily create vision-impairments
- Creating road debris, and not removing it from the road promptly
- Failing to provide a detour when needed, etc.
How to Prove Liability
If you are in a car accident that occurred in a work zone, one of the first steps to getting compensated is to answer the question: who is responsible?
Note that in Missouri you can have more than one party at-fault for a collision. Even you, the victim, could share part of the blame. You may think a driver caused a work zone accident because they are slightly speeding. Upon investigating, it is found that the accident was made worse because of road debris left on the road, which led to the speeding driver losing control of the car. In this case, both parties may be liable to pay you damages.
At the same time, you can also be found partly negligent because you are on your phone at the time of the accident. Your liability is calculated at 20%, which means you will only collect 80% of your total damages.
Proving liability involves building a case that shows who is responsible for the collision, and should, therefore, cover your damages. To do it, you will need sufficient evidence from the accident that can paint an accurate picture of events to convince the insurance company to award you a fair settlement.
Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
When you’re going up against multiple liable parties, or a company with legal representation, it is very important to have experienced legal representation on your side as well. Reach out to a St. Louis car injury lawyer now for further assistance in your work zone collision case.
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7 Tips for Staying Alert & Driving Safely in Work Zones
To drive safely in a work zone, it is important to know what to expect and how to react. Let’s consider a few tips to stay alert and avoid dangerous situations in work zomes.
What are the Dangers of Driving in Work Zones?
There are many dangers that come with driving in work zones. For one, the traffic patterns can be confusing and unpredictable. This is generally because lanes may be closed or shift unexpectedly.
In addition, the construction equipment itself can pose a danger to drivers. For instance, large trucks making deliveries to the construction site may block lanes of traffic or obscure your view.
Another danger of driving in work zones is the increased risk of car accidents. Drivers may be distracted or simply not paying attention to the road. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, since 2010, work zone deaths have increased 44%..
Now that we know a little bit more about work zones and the dangers they pose, let’s talk about how to stay safe while driving in them.
Tips for Staying Safe When Driving in Work Zones
Pay Attention to Road Signs
Work zones will usually have signs that warn drivers of the upcoming hazards. Pay attention to these signs and be prepared for the changes in traffic.
It’s easy to get frustrated while driving in a work zone, but it’s important to stay calm and focused. If you start getting angry or stressed out, you will likely make mistakes that could lead to an accident.
Remember that workers are just doing their job, and they want to get it done as safely and quickly as possible. Getting angry and honking your horn will not make them work any faster.
Put Away Your Phone
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents in work zones. Therefore, it’s important to put away your phone and focus on the road.
Follow the Speed Limits
Work zones will usually have a designated speed limit. Be sure to follow the signs and drive at a safe speed.
Watch Out for Workers
If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to hit a worker. Be sure to keep an eye out for them and slow down when you see them working.
When making turns in a work zone, be sure to use extra caution. There may be construction equipment or workers in the area that you’re not expecting.
Speak with an Experienced St. Louis Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured in a work zone auto accident, it’s important to seek legal help. The experienced car accident attorneys at The Hoffman Law Firm have a proven track record and can help you get the compensation you deserve. We are here to fight for those who have been injured in car accidents due to the negligence of others. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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