If you work in a construction zone, you know it can be dangerous – but who’s liable for your injuries when there’s an accident? Here’s what you need to know.
Construction Zones and Accidents: Who’s Liable for Your Injuries?
As a construction worker, you know that the company you work for has a duty to make a construction site safe. They’re responsible for warning you of dangers that may exist, too, and for not creating any extra dangers. However, working on the side of a busy road has inherent danger – you’re at risk of being hit by a car, in addition the normal risks you assume by working around heavy machinery and with dangerous substances (like hot tar).
When it comes to who’s responsible for your injuries, though, it could be the construction company, a driver, or even you. (Liability could come down to a combination of two, or all three.) The following sections break down each scenario.
When the Construction Company is Liable for Injuries in a Work Zone
The company you work for does have to fulfill its responsibilities to you. Here are some examples that illustrate when a construction company could be liable for your injuries:
- Poor design of a construction zone route, which can create a hazard by forcing unsuspecting motorists to make sudden or dangerous maneuvers
- Lack of warning signs
- Improperly placed warning signs
- Inaccurate warning signs
- Operation of construction equipment that impairs or hampers the passage of moving vehicles
- Placement of signs, barricades or equipment and devices too close to vehicle moving lanes
When the Driver is Liable
Sometimes in dangerous work zones, drivers cause accidents that hurt construction workers. Here are some examples that show when a driver may be liable for your injuries:
- A driver rear-ends another driver who did the right thing by slowing down or stopping
- A driver causes an accident by swerving
- A driver was distracted and did not see warning signs
- A driver ignores warning signs
- A car hits a warning sign or a piece of equipment
When You Could be Liable
Sometimes courts find that the injury victim is partly responsible – or even fully responsible – for his or her own injuries. Some examples that may mean you’re responsible include:
- Ignoring safety protocol on the job site
- Stepping into traffic
- Improperly placing warning signs yourself
- Operating machinery incorrectly or too close to oncoming traffic
What Do You Do if You Were Injured in a Dangerous Work Zone?
First things first: It doesn’t matter who’s at fault right now. What matters is that you get the medical attention you need. Healing from dangerous work zone injuries can be a long, painstaking process, and it’s important that you seek treatment for all your injuries (including mental health help, in many cases).
You should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The right attorney will visit you at home or in the hospital to check on how you’re doing, gather facts about your case, and develop a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.
What Will an Attorney Do?
The first thing a personal injury attorney does after a dangerous work zone accident is collect information. The attorney’s fact-finding mission will involve reading police reports, reviewing any citations the driver of the vehicle received as a result of the accident, and maybe even checking into the driver’s past driving record. Your lawyer will also review your medical records, look at witness statements, and possibly even talk to witnesses about what happened when you were injured.
Then, your attorney will put all this information together to determine who’s most likely responsible for your injuries, and he or she will take the appropriate steps to negotiate a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Dangerous Work Zone Accident?
If you were injured in a construction zone, we may be able to help you. Call us at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below now for a free consultation. We can visit you at home or in the hospital, you can come to our office, or we can have a video call or phone call – whatever works best for you. Our team may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.