If you have been involved in a car accident that occurred in a construction zone or you believe was caused by the construction being done on the roadway, you are likely wondering who should be held liable for the accident. Liability may rest with more than just the other driver involved in the collision. Let our Rogers car accident lawyers help you navigate through these types of claims.
Construction zones are everywhere
There are several road construction projects going on in the Rogers, Arkansas area right now, such as the Walnut Interchange @ I-49, which can lead to serious car accidents because of the increased congestion, detours, lane closures, lane shifts, uneven lanes, and other hazards. While some of these types of accidents can be blamed on driver negligence, the existence of construction-related hazards may require the city or construction company to share liability.
Our Rogers car accident lawyers recommend that drivers stay updated on where road construction is taking place and stay vigilant in areas where there may be obstacles impeding their travel. If you want to stay safe you need to know what is going on in your surroundings, especially on roads that you frequently travel.
What are the typical causes of car accidents in construction zones?
Car accidents in constructions zones can occur for a variety of reasons. When lanes are closed in a construction zone the traffic must slow down, sometimes suddenly, which often leads to rear-end collisions when drivers are not paying close attention. Lack of closer attention in these zones leads to drivers not being able to adjust to the traffic issues. In some cases, drivers also become frustrated or confused when they come upon a detour or lane closure or when there may be improper signage. In these situations, serious or even catastrophic injuries can occur.
Distracted driving makes construction zones more dangerous
Distracted driving in the best of road conditions can be dangerous, but when you couple that serious form of negligence or recklessness with the dangers inherent in construction zones, the effects or worsened. When drivers in a construction zone are not paying close attention, they often overcorrect when they come upon a barricade, cone or barrel causing a collision. In many cases, truck drivers who are not paying attention are unable to reduce their speed quick enough and cause serious rear-end accidents.
Ways to avoid construction zone accidents
Our Rogers car accident lawyers recommend a few simple tips to help you avoid causing an accident when you find yourself in a construction zone. While these tips may not protect you against the negligence of other drivers, at least you can keep yourself from being liable for someone else’s injuries or damages. First, if you stay watchful and head the signs warning that a construction zone is ahead, you can make sure to adjust your speed and keep the appropriate amount of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Even in situations of long-term construction that you may drive through every day, you should recognize that may not be the case for all of the drivers around you. Watch out for other drivers who may act impulsively, overcorrect or simply fail to adjust appropriately to the situation. Be sure to always drive defensively.
How do I know if the city is responsible?
Like most any other car accident case, the injured parties can usually hold the at-fault driver liable if the driver was negligent. However, there are some situations where the construction itself is the real cause of the accident. That means the construction company performing the repairs or roadwork or the government that is responsible for maintaining those roads may be liable. For example, if an accident occurred because the signage was inaccurate or misleading, which led to driver confusion, then liability may not be on the other driver involved, at least in part.
You should know that these types of claims, especially where government departments are involved can be more complicated than those that only involve other drivers. So, if you believe a construction company or government agency may be at fault, speak to one of our Rogers car accident lawyers so they can analyze your case.
What steps should I take after a construction zone accident?
If you are involved in an accident that occurs in a construction zone, your next steps will depend on whether or not you were injured in the crash. If you did not suffer any injuries, then our Rogers car accident lawyers suggest that you file a claim with your insurance company for the property damage. You will likely pay your deductible while the insurance company investigates the claim. In many cases, you will be reimbursed when it is determined that were not at fault.
On the other hand, if you sustained any injuries as a result of the car accident, the first step is always to seek medical treatment. This is important for two reasons. First, you need to be able to document and prove your injuries. Second, in personal injury cases, you are required to mitigate your injuries and damages. If you are unable to afford medical treatment, our Rogers car accident lawyers can refer you to a doctor that would be willing to treat you under a letter of protection. For more information on this, contact our firm.
If you have questions regarding car accidents or any other personal injury matters in Arkansas or Missouri, please contact the Cottrell Law Office for a free consultation. You can contact us either online or by calling us toll-free at 800-364-8305.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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