Who May Be to Blame for a Collision in a Florida Work Zone?
Posted on behalf of Gordon & Partners on Apr 13, 2021 in Auto Accidents
Collisions in work zones cause thousands of injuries and fatalities across the U.S. each year. Work zones present a number of hazards to motorists. Maneuvering around cones and barrels, making lane changes and following signage can be both challenging and dangerous.
If you have been involved in a work zone-related crash, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your injuries. It could be that the construction company, one of its workers or another driver is liable for the crash. Many factors may be involved, which may make filing a claim a bit more difficult.
At Gordon & Partners, we have secured millions in compensation for our clients, including car accident victims. An initial consultation with a West Palm Beach car accident lawyer is free of charge.
Work Zone-Related Crashes on the Rise
Work zone crashes continue to climb year over year, according to the most recent data provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Between 2015 and 2019, over 50,000 collisions reported in the state were in work zones. This resulted in more than 2,400 severe injuries and 380 fatalities.
There are many different causes for these crashes, but the biggest contributing factor in nearly 31 percent of all fatal work zone crashes are speeding motorists.
Being aware of workers while driving through an active work zone as well as slowing down and following the posted speed limit are just some ways you can try to stay safe and avoid collisions in work zones.
When a Construction Company May Be Liable
Construction companies have a duty to make a construction site as safe as possible. This means not creating hazards and warning others of known hazards. When a construction company breaches this duty, they could be liable for any damages caused. Construction companies are vicariously liable for the negligence of their workers. This includes supervisors, contractors and subcontractors.
Some ways a construction company may be held accountable for a crash include:
- Designing a route that forces drivers to make sudden and/or dangerous maneuvers
- Failing to post warning signs or putting these signs in places that are hard to read
- Displaying warning signs that provide inaccurate information
- Placing signs, barricades and cones too close to a moving lane of traffic
- Failing to display directions for detours around the site that are fully visible
- Moving construction equipment into the roadway without any warning
- Failing to pick up construction debris left in the roadway
When a Driver May Be Responsible
There are other times when the construction company and its workers operated safely, but the actions of a driver caused a work zone crash. For instance:
- A driver ran his or her vehicle into a warning sign or construction equipment, which caused a chain reaction, and another vehicle or vehicles hit him or her.
- A driver rear-ended another driver who properly slowed down or stopped.
- A driver was distracted and failed to see the posted warning signs. The distraction resulted in a collision with another driver who was following the rules.
Recovering Damages If Hit in a Work Zone
Determining fault is not always easy in a work zone crash. If the construction company’s negligence was a contributing factor to the crash, you may be able to file a claim against the company or its workers. If the crash involved a work vehicle, it may be the owner of the work vehicles. More than one party could share responsibility. This is why you need an experienced lawyer by your side to protect your rights.
Florida is a no-fault state, which means drivers typically turn to their own insurance policies to get compensated for medical expenses and other losses. However, you may be eligible to take legal action against the at-fault party if your injuries are deemed serious enough.
The law requires that you file a claim for damages within a certain period of time after the crash. If you let that time pass, you will lose your right to recover damages no matter how serious you were harmed. In most personal injury cases, including work zone crashes, you have four years to file a lawsuit.
Gordon & Partners Is Here to Help
Our lawyers at Gordon & Partners are prepared to help seek the maximum compensation possible on your behalf. We have over two decades of experience advocating for many injured accident victims.
Contact us today to let us review your situation and determine if you have a case. We charge nothing up front to retain our services, and there are no obligations to move forward. We only get paid if you do.