Poor road construction can lead to serious injuries after a car accident. Lawsuits will often follow against construction companies and it’s possible that it will result in significant liability for injuries. In some instances, the government may be held responsible for the lawsuit. In this blog post, we will discuss common road construction mistakes that can lead to serious injuries and the lawsuits that follow.
Car Accident Road Construction Mistakes
It’s possible for any sort of mistake to present itself in road construction, but below we will talk about the most common ones:
- Improper signage. It’s important for drivers to be given enough warning of road construction ahead. There are state and federal regulations that specify which type of signs should be used, how many are necessary, and the placement locations. If a construction company fails to use proper warning signs, motorists may not be aware of the dangers ahead and this can lead to devastating car accident injuries, or serious injuries to the construction workers. Sometimes both.
- Sharp turns. There are regulations that determine how sharply and at what speeds motorists should turn. If drivers are surprised by a sudden stop or sharp turn and are driving at relatively high speeds, an accident is waiting to happen. Construction companies can then be liable for injuries that follow.
- Dangerous conditions in pavement. Road construction will often require that the pavement be uneven temporarily. Uneven pavement that isn’t marked can be dangerous to drivers, especially motorcyclists. There are standards regarding this and each state may vary in their regulations. For example, some may require that any ridge of two inches or more be well marked with signs giving warning to slow down and be cautious.
After Construction Is Completed
After road construction has been completed for even a long period of time, poor road conditions that cause car accidents can still lead to claims against the “owner of the road.” These claims are based on inadequate maintenance, rather than negligent construction.
Personal Injury Cases From Road Construction
Motorists or construction workers can sue companies for injuries that result from road. Winning a personal injury lawsuit caused by road construction requires that the injured person must prove the following three elements that establish negligence:
1. Duty of keeping construction zones safe. Companies in charge of roadway construction have an obligation to keep the zone safe for their workers and drivers on the road. Often controversial is the question in a lawsuit that asks, “What is a safe construction zone?”
There are two possible answers. The simplest being that the construction company should follow the federal and state safety regulations. As stated above, regulations may include the need to install appropriate signs that state the dangers that follow. If, for instance, the regulation says the sign should be at least a quarter of a mile before the beginning of the zone, the regulations place a duty on the company to make sure proper signage is used.
The other answer is that the company may need to take reasonable measures in addition to complying with safety regulations. Proving what "reasonableness" is may require that the injured party get the help of an experienced injury lawyer. The lawyer will often hire an expert to explain to a jury what the company should have done to keep the roadway safe.
2. Breach of duty. If a construction company fails to satisfy the duty to keep a construction zone safe, they can be found negligent. An example may be that if a company had the duty to place signs a quarter mile before the construction zone and failed to do so, they breached their duty and acted negligently. If this causes injury, the injured party can hold them liable for damages.
3. The breach caused harm. Common types of damages in car accident and personal injury cases include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Decrease in quality of life from injury
- Property damage
Philadelphia Accident Lawyer Helping Injured Clients Recover Their Losses
If you have been in a car accident due to negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation that helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Know your rights and speak to an experienced attorney who will fight for you. The Heslin Law Firm has been handling car accident and injury cases in the city of Philadelphia for over thirty years.
Our law firm operates on a contingency fee basis. This means if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid. We also offer a free legal consultation to let you know if you have a case. Call our office today at 215-332-0300.