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Car Accident Liability: Who is Liable for a Car Accident in Work Zones?

Posted in Car Accidents on March 2, 2021

Auto accidents can occur anywhere, including in various work zones along the roads in Louisiana. Work zones are the areas where there are workers present to carry out highway construction, maintenance, or some kind of utility-related repair.

Usually, a work zone is marked with barriers, signs, pavement markings, and more. However, due to the chaos of it all as well as fast transitions, it can lead to a higher risk of getting into an accident.

When an accident occurs in a work zone, who is liable for the victim’s injuries? When you’re involved in such an accident, it’s critical to depend on the help of a New Orleans car accident lawyer.

Redmann Law has experienced personal injury lawyers to help you navigate the laws of Louisiana. It can ensure you understand who is at fault and what it means for getting your case dealt with in the most effective way possible.

Why Work Zone Accidents Often Occur

Accidents that occur in work zones can often lead to detrimental injuries and even death because of the road conditions in the area as well as the heavy equipment that is in use.

In many instances, accidents occur because the driver is being negligent or reckless when driving in the vicinity of construction workers.

Some of the most common accidents are because of certain factors:

  • Distractions: Drivers may be distracted by passengers or mobile devices, leading to them not paying attention when driving through a construction zone. Serious accidents can include rear-end collisions and veering off of the road. There are often quick changes that need to be made in a work zone, and a distracted driver will miss the warnings and cause an accident.
  • Speeding: There’s usually a lot of stop-and-go traffic during a work zone. Speeds are reduced and traffic may be forced into fewer lanes. Drivers need to reduce their speed to keep everyone safe. Additionally, Louisiana state law will double the fine for speeding in a work zone.
  • Ignoring signs and signals: The various signs and signals alert drivers to the various detours and road conditions inside of a construction zone. Ignoring these signs can lead to not understanding the dangers as well as having to make last-minute corrections. Such actions can cause serious accidents.
  • Merging: Often, drivers are required to merge into another lane so that construction zones have sufficient space to work. If a merge doesn’t happen soon enough or it happens at too high of a speed, a collision is often inevitable.

When one of these factors is the cause of the accident, it’s almost guaranteed that the driver will be found at fault for the work zone accident in Louisiana.

The Liability of a Construction Company

There are instances where a construction company may be found liable for an auto accident that occurs in a work zone.

If a construction company is negligent about the way they set up a work zone or how construction equipment operates, they are liable for any accidents that occur as a result of such activity. Additionally, if an employee of the construction company is responsible for causing the accident, they may also be held liable.

Understanding the situations where a construction company could be held liable is critical. Some other examples include:

  • Placing warning signs in undesignated areas for motorists
  • Not clearly stating the lanes open for use, creating confusion
  • Failure to warn drivers of the presence of construction vehicles and equipment, such as failing to use adequate warning lights
  • Using excessive or improperly placed lighting that can blind motorists when driving
  • Striking a vehicle as a construction worker performs a specific duty
  • Failure to maintain the construction site, leading to dangerous roadway hazards
  • Failure to provide clear detour directions to keep drivers away from the construction site

There may be other instances where the construction company would be liable, too. Much of it depends on the specifics of the accident. It is all the more reason to involve an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand the specifics of your case.

The Liability of the Driver

Many times, accidents that occur inside of a work zone are because of driver negligence. When a driver is negligent and causes the crash, they may be liable for the entire accident, including damages to the work zone itself.

Such instances include:

  • Colliding with construction equipment
  • Colliding with construction zone signs
  • Rear-ending another vehicle due to not slowing or stopping in time
  • Driving in a distracted fashion that leads to failing to see signs, vehicles, equipment, or workers

Often, it is more than just a single vehicle involved in a work zone accident. The vehicle at the front of the line that is negligent will be the first one to crash. Due to the overall confusion and chaos of a work zone, it can lead to more vehicles crashing into the first one. Road shoulders are often closed during road construction, leaving drivers nowhere to go when the vehicle in front of them stops suddenly.

Work with Redmann Law Today

Becoming injured in a work zone accident can be devastating. Injuries may be life-threatening and some can leave you with permanent disabilities. If you’ve been injured in such an accident, it’s critical to understand who was at fault. It may allow you to seek compensation for such things as your medical expenses, lost wages from work, and even pain and suffering.

Redmann Law’s lawyers can provide you with a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can discuss the details of your accident. It will make it easier to determine who was at fault and provide you with guidance as to what should happen next.

Our experienced lawyers can show you how it may be possible to seek compensation from the at-fault party, whether it’s the construction company or the city that was operating the work zone.

It’s important to understand that there are no upfront fees, so it’s worth it to find out how your claim can be handled. Call us today to learn more from our New Orleans-based legal team.