Car accidents are a sad but unavoidable part of daily life all across the United States. North Carolina is no exception, especially with its rapid population growth.
Particularly troublesome are car accidents that occur in construction zones. For perhaps obvious reasons, these kinds of accidents are often more dangerous and complicated than normal accidents.
For one, construction zones are often confusing, with narrow lanes and changing traffic patterns, making it impossible for drivers to know where they are going.
Additionally, construction zones often have unique risks, such as workers and heavy machinery, which increase the risks and dangers of an accident.
All these factors muddy the issue of who is at fault for a car accident in a construction zone. We’ll discuss that topic and several others in this article.
Contact one of our sterling attorneys for the legal representation you need.
Causes of Car Construction Zone Car Accidents
Construction zones are inherently dangerous places for drivers. Roadwork, detours, and lane closures can cause drivers to become confused or frustrated, leading to aggressive or distracted driving.
These factors can contribute to car accidents in construction zones.
Breaking the Rules of the Road
One major cause of construction zone car accidents is speeding.
Drivers often become frustrated by the slow speed limits imposed in construction zones and may speed up dangerously once they leave the construction zone.
This sudden increase in speed can lead to accidents, particularly if the driver is not paying attention to the road ahead.
Another cause of construction zone car accidents is distracted driving.
In construction zones, drivers need to be particularly vigilant and focused, but distractions like cell phones, eating, or adjusting the radio can take a driver’s attention away from the road.
In addition, construction zones are busy places, with workers and equipment moving around. If a driver is not paying attention, they may not see workers or equipment in time to avoid an accident.
Construction zone car accidents can also be caused by poor road conditions. Uneven or poorly marked lanes, sudden drop-offs, and loose gravel or debris all contribute to accidents.
In addition, construction zones often have limited visibility, particularly at night or during bad weather. Drivers may not be able to see lane markings, construction workers, or other hazards until it’s too late.
Construction Worker Negligence
Finally, construction zone car accidents can be caused by the negligence of construction workers or contractors.
If workers fail to properly mark hazards or equipment, fail to follow proper safety protocols, or leave debris or equipment in the roadway, they can be held liable for accidents that result.
Determining Who Is at Fault for a Car Accident in a Construction Zone
Determining who is at fault for a car accident in a construction zone is rarely straightforward. The specific circumstances of the accident generally determine who is at fault.
In some cases, the driver may be at fault. In other cases, the construction company, worker, or municipality responsible for the construction zone may be at fault.
There are a few questions you should consider:
- First, was the driver obeying traffic laws and road signs?
- Second, was the driver distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
- Third, did the construction company or municipality provide adequate warning signs and traffic controls?
- Finally, did a worker in the construction zone act negligently or recklessly?
These questions cover only a few variables. Multiple factors will be present in a construction zone accident case.
Perhaps the driver was going a few miles over the speed limit and struck a worker who was intoxicated with alcohol. It’s also possible that a third party contributed to the chaos.
Evidence You Can Use to Assess Fault in a Construction Zone Car Accident
Various forms of evidence are useful in proving who is at fault for a car accident. The more evidence available, the stronger your case can be.
Some evidence that can be helpful include:
- Eyewitness testimony – Eyewitnesses who were present at the time of the accident can provide valuable testimony about what they saw and heard leading up to and during the collision. This testimony can help establish important facts about the accident, such as who had the right of way, whether any parties were driving recklessly or aggressively, and whether any construction zone warnings were clearly visible.
- Police reports – Police reports also play a significant role in determining who is at fault in a construction zone car accident. These reports often document important details like the location and time of the accident and the identities of the involved parties.
- Video footage – Video footage from traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, or dashcams is often decisive in establishing liability. By providing visual evidence of the accident, footage can help recreate the relevant sequence of events.
- Construction zone warnings – Construction zones must include clear warnings to alert drivers to potential hazards or roadway changes. These warnings might have contributed to the accident if they were missing or difficult to see.
- Vehicle damage – The damage sustained by the vehicles in the accident can be the “smoking gun” of the case. By examining the points of impact and the severity of the damage, accident reconstruction experts can determine how the accident happened and who did what.
You need more than just the evidence itself. Analyzing and compiling this evidence requires an experienced personal injury attorney.
A qualified attorney can arrange this evidence to build a strong case in your favor. They can also use this information to clear your name if someone else has accused you of being the cause of the accident.
In either scenario, having legal representation could be the key factor that allows you to triumph.
Let Mehta & McConnell Give You the Representation You Deserve
Have you had a car accident in a work zone? If so, you need to prepare for the unique complications stemming from those accidents. You also need to be ready to collect evidence and prove your case.
As you now understand from this article, these tasks are not easy. So if you have received injuries in a car accident in a construction zone, get legal help today. And not just any legal help.
Consult the experienced attorneys at Mehta & McConnell. Our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience, so we know what tactics work for our clients.
We also have prior experience working for insurance companies. That means we know how to negotiate effectively against them on your behalf.
Finally, we offer exquisite customer service for all our clients. Don’t take chances with your future. Give us a call or contact us online today.