A routine drive can suddenly turn hazardous when the road becomes a construction zone. In addition to abrupt changes in the landscape, construction zones can be accompanied by hesitant drivers who make poor decisions, as well as obstacles in the path of travel. Due to the other parties and factors involved, these accidents can be more complicated than non-construction zone crashes. A qualified car accident lawyer can sort through the details to hold those at fault responsible.
Increased risks in a construction zone
Whether or not construction workers are present, a construction zone carries with it additional risks. Each construction zone crash is unique, but some common factors include:
- A sudden change in speed limit
- An abrupt change in traffic patterns, including narrowed or reduced number of lanes
- Unclear signs to indicate a change in traffic flow or detours
- Changed signal operation
- Workers and equipment entering the road
- Confused drivers
Who is liable for a New York construction zone accident?
There is no universal answer to who is at fault for a work zone crash. Just as in any other auto accident, a party who was negligent may be held responsible for the portion of the damages caused by their actions.
One of the complicating factors in a construction zone accident is the number of parties who may be involved. Were the traffic signals improperly timed? The municipality and the civil engineers who programmed the signal may be legally responsible.
Did the road crew leave equipment or debris in the path of traffic? The construction company or government may be at fault.
Another driver who initiated the crash may also be partly to blame. Each situation calls for an informed analysis to determine who may be liable.
How to prove fault for a construction zone accident
Proving a defendant’s breach of duty is necessary to receive compensation for an accident. Every driver on the road is under a duty to act reasonably and control their vehicle. Government entities and construction companies have a duty to plan the project and take required precautions, like installing temporary traffic devices. Engineers who develop plans for the construction must meet the standard of care for other professionals in their locale.
In some cases, a jury can decide whether the defendant, such as a reckless driver, acted negligently. When the defendant is a professional such as an engineer, it is necessary to hire an expert witness who can explain what the standard of care for the profession required. Failing to meet the requirement to prove legal fault will jeopardize your right to recover compensation.
Choosing a New York City lawyer: Why experience matters
A serious car accident can sideline you physically and financially, but the law allows those injured by someone else’s negligence to recover compensation from those who caused the injury. Establishing fault in a construction zone accident can be more complicated than in other car accidents, so it is important to choose a New York construction accident attorney experienced in work zone accident claims.
The attorneys at Friedman, Levy Goldfarb & Green provide strong representation to clients throughout New York City, from Brooklyn to the Bronx, who are facing complex claims. Call today to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you through yours.