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Construction Zone Auto Accidents
Construction zones change daily, therefore, the people driving through them have to make quick adjustments. Detours, traffic jams, reduced number of lanes, changes in speed, presence of people and equipment on the road — all of these things combine to make for risky conditions.
The laws governing these sites are designed to make the navigation process easier for motorists, but any errors in following these regulations can result in crashes, injuries, and fatalities. For example, between 2016 and 2017, there were a total of 1,581 fatal crashes in work zones, which was an increase of 3 percent; meanwhile, fatal crashes outside of work zones decreased overall by 1.5 percent.
Construction zones can certainly be confusing, and oftentimes the way an area is set up by the construction company or simply one worker’s negligence can be the cause of an accident.
Examples of negligence can include:
- Incorrect, misplaced, or lack of warning signs
- Unclear traffic signals indicating where to go
- Lack of speed limit markers
- Missing cones or barriers
- Poor lighting or too bright of lighting
- Loose debris
- Steep drop-offs
- Machinery blocking roadways
- Slow moving or idling work vehicles
- Randomly placed tools
If you have been in an auto accident because a worker or company was guilty of negligence, you deserve coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Contact a car accident lawyer in St. Louis, MO, to start a claim.
Construction Site Premises Liability Accidents
When pedestrians walk through construction zones to get where they need to go, they should have a reasonable expectation of safety as long as they are following designated pathways. For example, construction companies are legally required to set up proper blockades, make sure that people passing by are not in harm’s way, and to warn them of any dangers that may exist. When they fail to do this, you can suffer a variety of accidents, including:
- Electrocution from exposed or faulty wiring
- Being struck by heavy equipment or machinery
- Falling debris
- Explosions and fires
- Machinery malfunctions
- Falling from scaffolding
- Exposure to contaminants like asbestos and toxic chemicals
If you suffered any of the above accidents, you may be able to file a claim for premises liability. In many cases, the construction company — and their insurance company — may claim that you are at fault for your own injuries because you made an error walking through the construction site. You need an experienced premises liability lawyer in St. Louis, MO, who understands these tactics and will advocate on your behalf.
Who is Liable in a Construction Zone Accident?
Whether you were involved in an auto accident or you were injured while innocently walking by a construction zone, someone should be held liable, and it’s a complex matter of determining who.
Depending on the size and scope of the construction project, there are usually multiple parties involved, and the intersection of one or more of these could be responsible for your injuries.
These parties include:
- Construction company
- Road crew or one negligent member of the road crew
- Construction site owner
- General and sub-general contractors
- Manufacturers of construction machinery or equipment
- Architects and engineers
If it is a government-sanctioned project, this creates another layer of complexity. The City of St. Louis may be liable if there was municipality neglect. For instance, if the city failed to provide safe detours or to post adequate warning signs, the government may absorb partial responsibility for a construction zone accident.
It is up to your personal injury lawyer in St. Louis, MO, to not only determine who is at fault, but to also effectively build a case for why they are required to compensate you for the injuries they caused.