It’s summer, which means Glens Falls and surrounding areas will see plenty of road work, just as we do every year. We sympathize with all motorists. Nothing is more frustrating than coming upon a construction zone unexpectedly, especially when you’re trying to get to work or school and are running a little late. Nonetheless, it is vital that you slow down as required by law and pay especially close attention to other vehicles.
Construction zone accidents are common. According to the National Safety Council, there were 954 work zone fatalities in 2021, along with an astounding 42,151 injuries, and New York was not immune. If you were injured in a construction zone accident, there are some factual questions we need to answer, such as “Who is at fault?” and “Can I seek compensation?” A Glens Falls car accident lawyer can help answer these questions and others, so reach out to Larson & Gallivan Law today.
Why Construction Zones Are Dangerous
It shouldn’t be surprising to see many construction zone accidents. There are many distractions, such as:
- Brightly colored cones and signs
- Workers near the side of the road
- Dump trucks and other vehicles pulling in and out of the work zone
- Debris on the road, such as lumber, tape, or overturned cones
Traffic also gets bottlenecked at work zones. Many zones have flaggers who stop traffic, or else temporary traffic lights are erected to slow down the flow when only one lane remains open. Space is crowded. It is easy to tailgate, as drivers do not allow a two-second cushion between them and the vehicle in front.
With construction workers sometimes jumping into traffic, motorists need to quickly stomp on the brakes. But that can set off a chain reaction, ultimately causing dozens of injuries. In sum, work zones are hectic places, with too many cars crowded into a tight space. Crashes are bound to happen.
Were You Injured in a Work Zone Accident?
Most collisions occur between vehicles or between a vehicle and a construction worker. Although vehicles are going slower than normal through the construction zone, serious injuries are still possible. Construction workers especially could suffer critical brain and spinal column injuries when struck. But even occupants could suffer whiplash, concussions, and fractures in a crash.
If you are involved in a wreck, you should stop immediately, as required by law. You can then move your vehicles out of the way so that you don’t obstruct traffic. But remember to call the police to come out to the accident scene and create an accident report.
When the Construction Company Is At Fault for a Crash
Construction companies must use care when setting up the work zone. That means warning motorists well in advance that a zone is up ahead, which gives drivers a chance to slow down. The construction company also must train workers not to jump into traffic, and make sure that commercial vehicles moving in and out of the zone are given adequate room.
Construction companies are liable for accidents when they breach their duties to the public in the following ways:
- Improperly placed signs warning motorists of construction up ahead—or no signs at all
- Inaccurate signs which confuse drivers
- Poor construction zone design which creates unnecessary risks on the road
- Improper placement of cones or barricades which leads to collisions
- Negligent operation of construction equipment which either causes collisions or forces motorists to make split-second actions
When a Driver May Be At-Fault for Your Crash
Many work zone accidents are caused by negligent drivers. These people are not careful when driving in normal traffic, and they don’t intend to be any safer when passing through a work zone. Some accidents are caused by:
- Tailgating. The driver is following too closely, so there isn’t enough room for them to slow down or stop. They end up rear-ending the car in front of them.
- Distraction. A distracted driver might not even see a flagger trying to slow down traffic. This motorist then crashes into cars coming toward them.
- Carelessness. A careless driver could strike construction equipment and get spun around or plow into a car in front of them. This type of crash can cause a chain reaction pile up.
- Speeding. A driver going too fast is at higher risk of losing control, especially in one-lane traffic.
In these wrecks, innocent people who are obeying the law get hurt. Fortunately, you can seek a claim against a negligent driver if your no-fault benefits are inadequate to cover your expenses.
Construction zone accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Who is at fault? We need to answer this question so that we can assign liability and seek compensation from the at-fault party.
Our Glens Falls car accident lawyers can review all evidence, such as:
- Your photographs of the accident scene, including the cars involved
- Eyewitness testimony about what happened
- Testimony from construction workers who observed the crash
- Inspection of the construction zone
A responding police officer should interview witnesses and note other helpful information. But your legal team can also work with private investigators and accident reconstruction experts to identify fault.
Compensation for Those Injured in Work Zone Accidents
Car accidents leave victims with serious injuries. Helpfully, New Yorkers have ways of receiving compensation. If you were hurt while driving or as a passenger in a car, you can seek compensation from the driver or from the construction company who is liable. We have sought money for:
- Economic damages, like medical care, future medical services, lost income, and property damage.
- Noneconomic damages, such as pain, suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages, when the person responsible acted in a deplorable or morally culpable manner.
Our Glens Falls Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
Along with road construction comes accidents. Contact our law firm today if you would like to meet with a seasoned lawyer to discuss your case. We can help negotiate a settlement with an insurer and analyze whether it makes sense to file a lawsuit.