Liability in Road Work Zone Accidents
Construction is widely known as one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. Thousands of construction workers suffer serious or even fatal injuries each year as a result of accidents on the job. Types of accidents include getting hit by falling objects, falling from heights, and being electrocuted. When a construction worker is working on a road crew, however, there is an additional risk of motor vehicle accidents and resulting injuries. Moreover, motorists passing through a road work zone are at risk of accidents due to hazards they may encounter because of the construction.
According to statistics published by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, more than 87,000 collisions occurred in work zones in 2010, many of which involved serious injuries. Accidents in road work zones happen for a variety of reasons, and the chances for an injured victim to recover depend on the cause of the accident. If you have suffered an injury in a road work zone, you should always discuss a possible legal claim with an experienced attorney who can evaluate your case.
Motorists Can Injure Workers
Workers who are standing in the roadway while traffic passes by are inherently at risk for possible accidents. In an attempt to keep workers safe, road work zones often have special traffic safety laws, including lowered speed limits, following traffic directors, and additional yield requirements. Under Wisconsin law, any person who violates certain laws in work zones may face twice the regular fine for that particular traffic offense. In addition to higher fines, if a motorist causes an accident and injury because he or she violated a law or acted in an otherwise negligent manner, he or she should be held liable in civil court for any injuries caused.
If you are injured while on the job, you may be entitled to collect Worker's Compensation benefits. However, if you are injured on the job by an accident caused by the driver of an automobile, you may also be entitled to make a separate third-party claim against the driver personally.
Workers Can Also Cause Accidents
Because construction zones can potentially create several different hazards, workers also have a duty to act in a responsible, safe manner to avoid causing accidents. For example, crews should always post appropriate warning signs regarding lane closures, sudden slowing of traffic, lowered speed limits, or an uneven road. Workers should also take care to not leave vehicles, tools, or other objects in the path of traffic as these can easily lead to a collision. If a construction crew negligently causes an accident, any injured motorists may be able to receive compensation for their losses.
Contact an Experienced Appleton or Green Bay Auto Accident Attorney if You Have Been Injured
If you are a construction worker or a motorist who has suffered injuries in an accident, do not delay in calling the skilled Appleton car accident attorneys or Green Bay car accident attorneys at Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd. to discuss your case. Our offices are conveniently located in Appleton, Green Bay, New London, and Oshkosh and consultations are free. Our legal team is dedicated to helping injured accident victims, so please contact us today at 920-739-7366 for assistance.