Construction Zone Car Accident: How to Defend Yourself Appropriately – Guest Post

Construction Zone Car Accident

Sixteen people died in Pennsylvania construction zone crashes in 2021. The number of these accidents for that year totaled 1,649. Victims of these incidents include Department of Transportation workers, other road construction company employees, and drivers.

A work zone brings a number of hazards for workers and drivers. Certain speeding violations in work zones carry losses of driving privileges, and enhanced penalties follow those convicted of reckless driving or homicides in work zones.

If you’re in a construction zone accident, you may have to address allegations of your carelessness in criminal court and in civil court if you seek compensation for your injuries in such a wreck. Below, we profile four ways to defend yourself and your interests in a construction zone crash.

Act With Extra Caution

Do all you can to avoid a construction zone accident in the first place. This requires extra vigilance and attention as you navigate narrow and shifting lanes, construction barriers, and slower traffic. Obey the posted work-zone speed limits. These typically fall below the normal posted ones. Keep sufficient distance while following other vehicles. Distractions from smartphones, radios, passengers, and billboards can cause you to strike workers, other vehicles, guard rails, cones, and other items.

With careful driving, you can rebut defense claims of negligence. In a lawsuit, the defense lawyer will ask you about your use of cell phones, speed, whether you used drugs or alcohol while driving, and whether you used turn signals.

Get Photographs and Video

If you become involved in a construction zone crash, video and photograph the crash scene or have someone do so for you. Images of the vehicles show the points and type of impact – side, rear, or head-on. You will also want to capture items and conditions commonly associated with road construction, such as:

  • Orange cones
  • Road closed or construction ahead signs
  • Workers holding stop or slow signs
  • Concrete barriers
  • Construction vehicles and equipment
  • Pavement

This evidence may show defective road conditions or improperly placed barriers that may contribute to the crash. You can also show the work zone speed limit and whether crew members properly controlled traffic flow.

Get Help From an Auto Accident Attorney

Defending yourself and your rights after a construction zone crash means avoiding pitfalls such as unwittingly admitting fault or responsibility. An auto accident attorney experienced in construction zone crashes will advise you, among other things, on the following:

  • Not having to give statements to insurance adjusters for other drivers or construction contractors
  • Rejecting settlement offers that inadequately compensate you for lost wages, lost capacity, medical bills, pain and suffering, and disability

In preparing your lawsuit, attorneys obtain driver and contractor’s safety records and expert opinions concerning improper road grades, designs, and construction methods. Law enforcement reports and vehicle data produced through discovery requests and subpoenas help establish speeding, loss of control, and other acts of negligence – and the absence of your own carelessness.

Get Witnesses and Reports

Your passengers, other drivers, and construction workers may have observed the vehicles’ respective speeds and movements, the actions of workers, and conditions in the work zone. Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses from witness statements, crash reports, and those you see at the scene.

Law enforcement officers prepare reports from their investigations of the crash. Their findings come from driver and witness statements, crash debris, skid marks, and positions of the vehicles.

Defending yourself in a work zone automobile crash means gathering all the evidence you can that other parties caused your injuries. You need witnesses, images, and reports to repel claims that you drove carelessly. Above all, use caution especially as you drive on highways under construction or repair.

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