Work Zone Accidents
While the end result of road construction tends to be positive, the short-term issues of navigating through the sometimes complex maze of a work zone can be trying at best. Tragically, work zones and road construction sites are common settings for serious accidents and even fatalities. People who are injured or lose loved ones in such accidents may be entitled to compensation, but work zone crash cases may be complex to litigate because drivers, construction companies, and governmental entities tend to cast blame on anyone except themselves following a collision. If you need legal advice concerning a work zone crash, the Stuart car accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston can advise you about your case.Seek Compensation for Injuries Caused by a Work Zone Accident
According to the United States Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, as many as 90,000 crashes happen annually in work zones across the nation. Many of these accidents result in serious injuries, and some result in death. Work zone accidents are common not only during daylight but also at night. Although construction workers and equipment may be less likely to be present after dark, a construction site may be much more difficult to navigate when there is less light, especially in foggy or rainy weather conditions. The most common types of collisions in work zones are rear-end crashes, sideswipe collisions, and fixed-object collisions, but many other crashes may occur in these dangerous road work areas.
Civil lawsuits filed by people who are injured in accidents fall within an area of civil tort law known as negligence. Allegations of negligence may arise from a particular action by a defendant, or they may arise from a defendant’s failure to take a certain action. Regardless of whether the defendant’s alleged negligence was active or passive, the plaintiff has the burden of proving four elements of their case by a preponderance of the evidence. The elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
In a lawsuit against a driver who caused a work zone accident, the plaintiff may be able to show that the defendant is liable because they failed to observe the posted speed limit or failed to obey the rules of the road pertaining to construction areas. The plaintiff may also be able to show that the defendant’s impairment by drugs or alcohol or their distracted driving was to blame for the accident.
Some work zone cases may involve defendants other than motorists involved in the crash. For instance, liability may lie against the construction contractor responsible for the work zone or even the governmental entity ultimately in charge of the project, if they are found to be negligent. Sometimes multiple defendants may be liable. Under Florida’s pure comparative fault law, even the plaintiff may be assigned some fault for a work zone accident in some cases. If this happens, the plaintiff still may be able to recover the percentage of damages attributable to the defendants. For instance, a jury could decide that a negligent defendant was 90% to blame for a work zone crash but that 10% of the fault was attributable to the plaintiff. In such a case, the plaintiff’s compensation would be reduced by 10%, but they may still recover 90% of the amount awarded by the jury to compensate them for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the crash.Discuss Your Car Accident Case with a Stuart Attorney
It is always advisable to contact a motor vehicle collision attorney sooner rather than later following an automobile accident, but this is especially true in work zone and road construction accident cases. It is important that the plaintiff’s representative thoroughly investigate the collision before the accident scene changes, which may happen quickly in work zones, and that all filing deadlines and notice requirements are met. To schedule a free consultation with the knowledgeable Stuart car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston, you can contact us online or call us at 772-266-5555 or 561-299-3999. We serve people in Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter, as well as other communities in Martin, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties.