Car Crashes in California Work Zones
Construction zones are some of the most dangerous places on California’s hazardous highways. Because of this, drivers have a heightened legal duty of care when driving through work zones. Negligent drivers who fail to follow these rules and cause accidents in road work zones have a legal obligation to compensate injury victims. The experienced Los Angeles work zone car crash attorneys at Deldar Legal have helped many California auto accident victims access compensation for their injuries. Call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced San Jose auto accident lawyer. Let an experienced lawyer deal with the insurance claims process while you heal from your injuries.
The Federal Highway Administration reports that work zone accidents are on the rise. Between 2016 and 2017, fatal accidents across the United States decreased by 1.5 percent. During that same time, however, fatal accidents in work zones actually increased by 3 percent. Work zones continue to be especially dangerous. Construction workers are not the only ones affected – drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and other road users are all placed in danger by the increased hazard of a work zone. This is why the law imposes a heightened duty of care upon drivers who are traveling through work zones.
Section 22362 of the California Vehicle Code requires drivers to follow speed limit changes posted on temporary work signs in designated work zones. Section 22350 of the Vehicle Code also prohibits drivers from traveling faster than is reasonable or prudent, or at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property. This means that drivers can commit a traffic violation without exceeding the posted speed limit. Drivers must consider all conditions – including work zones – when choosing a safe speed. Evidence of a traffic violation can be used as evidence of negligence in a civil case against the driver.
It is important to determine who is at fault for causing an accident. This is because the person who is legally at fault also has a legal obligation to compensate victims of the accident for their injuries. Here are some of the most common liability scenarios for work zone accidents:
The accident was caused by the driver of a construction vehicle
Construction workers must also use due care in work zones. Because they are operating large vehicles and heavy machinery, they must use special care to safely operate this dangerous equipment. Construction companies – like all employers – are vicariously liable for the negligence of their workers. This means that a construction company must compensate accident victims for any injuries caused by its workers’ negligence.
There are many ways in which a construction worker could cause injuries in a work zone. Large construction vehicles have large blind spots, and this could lead to a collision. Heavy machinery and equipment could be misused by a worker who is not adequately trained or supervised. Dangerous chemicals or blasting material could be mishandled or improperly stored. All of these are known risks in construction work. Construction companies must take reasonable steps to be sure their employees are trained and supervised properly in the prevention of accidents.
The accident was caused by a negligent driver who ignored work zone traffic laws
Here in California, negligent driving is an unfortunately common sight. It is hard to spend time on the highways of Southern California without witnessing speeding, distracted driving, tailgating, and other bad driving habits. These behaviors are especially dangerous in work zones.
All drivers have a duty of care imposed by California law. This is the duty to act as a reasonably prudent driver would in similar circumstances. Drivers who fail to do so are negligent, and this makes them legally responsible for injuries caused by their negligence. The reasonably prudent driver uses extra caution in work zones. An injury victim’s claim is strengthened by evidence that the defendant was speeding, driving while distracted, or engaging in other unsafe driving behaviors in a work zone.
The accident was caused by a defective vehicle, machinery, or equipment.
Construction accidents can also be caused by defects the vehicles, machinery, or equipment that is being used in the work zone. These products are covered by the law of strict products liability. Strict products liability holds manufacturers accountable for injuries caused by defects in the design or manufacture of their goods. These laws are designed to protect consumers from unsafe goods. Manufacturers have an obligation to place only safe products into the marketplace. “Strict liability” means that the consumer does not have to prove that the manufacturer was unreasonable. Victims injured by defective consumer goods need only prove that the product caused injury to the plaintiff while being used in its intended manner.
Strict products liability applies to many of the machines, equipment, and materials being used in a work zone. For example: if workers are using a steam roller as intended, but the brakes go out and cause a collision, the manufacturer of the steam roller could be obligated to compensate the injury victims under a claim of strict products liability. Vehicles are also subject to strict products liability. If the steering were to fail on a construction vehicle or even another driver’s personal vehicle, this too could lead to a products liability claim.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney
Many important legal issues are raised by work zone accidents. These issues can dramatically impact your legal right to be compensated for injuries caused by a work zone accident. It is therefore important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after any auto accident. The experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyers at Deldar Legal have helped many California accident victims access compensation for their injuries. Call (844) 335-3271 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Don’t deal with the insurance company’s lawyers on your own. You should be able to focus on your health and your loved ones during the difficult period after an accident. Let an experienced, aggressive Los Angeles work zone accident attorney fight hard to protect your legal right to compensation.
Posted in: Auto Accidents