Road construction can improve poor driving conditions and make our roads safer. However, construction zones can also be dangerous driving areas for motorists.
If the road construction company was negligent in their actions, like not giving motorists enough warning before a hazard or ignoring a potentially dangerous condition, you may be able to hold that company liable for the accident and your injuries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a road construction accident in Colorado, speak to an attorney at Norton Frickey P.C. as soon as possible. Call Norton Frickey P.C. at (719) 634-6450 to schedule a free consultation.
An auto accident attorney at Norton Frickey P.C. can talk to you about your legal rights, help you determine fault and establish negligence, and file a claim against the responsible construction company.
Common Causes of Road Construction Accidents
Many issues in construction zones can lead to accidents. Here are just a few common issues.
Motorists should be prepared to drive through or next to a construction zone with the use of appropriate signs: reduced speed limit, lane closures, changed traffic patterns, bumps in the road, detours, and so on.
CDOT has Work Zone Safety Guidelines for contractors to follow, which apply to construction, utility, and maintenance work zones. These guidelines discuss different traffic control devices, when to use them in which situations, where to place them, and so on.
If used improperly, or not at all, motorists may not be given sufficient warning of construction zones, which can lead to accidents.
While uneven pavement is normal in construction zones, it can be very dangerous to drivers. If a raised section of pavement is much higher than the surrounding pavement, motorists may need to reduce their speed even further and exercise extra caution.
Signs that state “bump” or “uneven pavement” can give drivers and motorcyclists ample time to slow down and approach the uneven section with care. State regulations on posting signage or using protective traffic control devices vary. CDOT has examples of protective traffic devices for specific situations, including pavement edge drop-offs.
Poor Weather Conditions
Weather in Colorado can be unpredictable. If road construction is taking place during winter months, there may also be ice to contend with.
Any weather that impedes visibility and makes roads slick can make construction zones even more of a risk. This is why clear signage about speed limits and conditions ahead are necessary, and why it’s so important that drivers are cautious in a construction zone when inclement weather is present.
Liability in a Road Construction Accident
Consider a different accident like a minor fender bender, where a driver rear-ends your car while you’re waiting at a stoplight. That driver will very likely be held liable for any injuries or damage to your vehicle. But an accident involving road construction may be caused by damaged pavement, missing or improperly used traffic signs, unsafe conditions, and more.
Who is responsible in those cases? The construction company who is supposed to put up those signs? The city, county, or state in charge of maintaining the road?
If you believe your accident was caused by road construction, you must prove that another party’s negligence was the reason for it. This can be tricky since you must also prove that the party was negligent, or responsible for your accident.
To establish negligence, you first have to demonstrate that the responsible party had a duty to keep the construction area safe for both motorists and the construction workers. Maintaining this duty might mean that a construction company follows state and federal safety guidelines for construction areas.
For example, Douglas County has clear requirements for traffic control zones to make construction areas safe for everyone. Douglas County outlines four different areas that let motorists know what to expect, transition traffic through the construction zone, protect motorists and workers, and let traffic resume normally.
You must also show that the other party breached their duty. A breach of duty means that the responsible party failed to uphold their duty.
In the example above, a breach of duty might mean that a construction company didn’t follow the proper traffic control zones outlined in Douglas County, leading to an accident.
Finally, you have to demonstrate that there was harm caused by breach of duty.
Harm can include:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Bodily injuries
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages due to injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life due to injuries
It’s not enough to prove that the responsible party acted negligently; you must prove that the negligence actually caused you harm.
Injured Due to Road Construction? Speak to a Colorado Personal Injury Attorney
Determining who is at fault and proving negligence in a road construction accident is not easy. A skilled, experienced Colorado car accident lawyer from Norton Frickey P.C. can help.
Norton Frickey P.C. represents clients throughout the entire state of Colorado, helping victims of road construction accidents and other types of incidents receive the full compensation they deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a road construction accident in Colorado, call Norton Frickey P.C. at (719) 634-6450, or fill out an online form. Follow Norton Frickey P.C. on Facebook and Twitter for further resources and news updates.