Road construction can cause some serious complications on major thoroughfares,
which can lead to dangerous situations unless the proper precautions are
taken. These precautions take the form of strict road construction regulations
dictating proper practices for giving drivers notice and directing them
safely through or around hazards.
When construction crews fail to honor these regulations or otherwise make
decisions that endanger drivers, then road construction accidents can
result. In some instances, the road construction crew, project owner or
supervising contractor could be liable for injuries caused as a result
of such accidents by way of a negligence-based injury claim.
If you have been the victim of an accident near road construction and think
negligence may be to blame, read on to learn the legal principles behind
your potential case.
Possible Negligent Causes of Road Construction Accidents
There are countless ways that a construction project could be improperly
set up and lead to a high risk of dangerous accidents, but some of the
most pertinent are:
Inadequate signage that fails to caution drivers about upcoming hazards,
needed detours or a reduction in speed
Hazardous pavement that leaves gaps or uneven surfaces that can cause loss
of traction, especially for two-wheeled vehicles. Regulations dictate
that gaps or ridges of a certain size must be marked as well as having
traffic reduce speed or directed around them
Unsafe sharp turns created in temporary or permanent road sections that
suggest a much higher speed than is safe to navigate them
Tools, debris and materials not kept out of the way of traffic, leading
to punctured tires or worse
When these conditions or ones similar to them are left on the road, then
the construction company has committed what is known as a “breach
in their duty of care” to keep drivers and their own workers safe.
Evidence of regulation violations or general lax practices — like
a never-present supervisor — can contribute to these allegations
Determining Fault in a Construction Accident on the Road
If negligent behavior directly leads to an accident that causes an injury,
then the injury victim has a right to pursue compensation from any and
all liable parties. This right also covers accidents that happen after
road construction projects have completed.
The only issue is determining who could be liable. A contractor crew operating
on the site at the time may not have created the road condition that lead
to the accident, for instance. Or, a supervising company could have lapsed
in their duty when designing the project in the first place. Sometimes,
a government entity like Caltrans or the Federal Highway Administration
could be to blame for lax oversight or unsafe engineering.
The injury victim themselves may have also contributed to the accident,
such as if a dangerous condition existed but they were still speeding
at the time.