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Negligent Drivers vs. Negligent Workers: Who is Responsible for Construction Zone Accidents and Fatalities?

Kane County construction site accident lawyerWhile construction work is necessary to help keep our roads safe, the time in which they are being repaired can be hazardous to both workers and passersby. In fact, statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration determined that 87,606 construction zone accidents occurred in 2010. Of those crashes, more than 500 resulted in at least one fatality. In addition, 37,476 drivers and more than 20,000 workers were injured. Unfortunately, sorting who is responsible for these accidents can be a rather difficult task.

Driver Responsibility in Construction Zones

Distracted driving is a major factor in automobile accidents today, and it happens to be one of the most prevalent issues in construction zone accidents. Considered an issue of driver negligence, it can include anything from talking or texting on a cellular phone to changing the radio station. In these instances, the driver can be held liable for any others who are injured, including workers.

Worker Responsibility in Construction Zones

Regulated by government, construction zones and their workers are supposed to adhere to a strict set of rules to ensure safety. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • Ensuring that motorists have ample warning of upcoming construction through easy-to-read and see signage;
  • Keeping all turns within a construction zone within regulation standards;
  • Leaving the road in a safe, drivable condition once construction is finished;
  • Marking areas of uneven payment; and
  • When necessary, providing extra precautions for motorcyclists that may be especially at risk for certain road conditions.

Moreover, construction workers themselves must practice precautions within work zones. This applies to all direct-road workers and equipment workers. Failure to follow any of these protocols could constitute worker negligence in a construction zone.

When Drivers Are the Victims, Experienced Legal Help Is Crucial

While lawmakers, public safety agencies, and government agencies would like drivers to believe they are largely responsible for the accidents taking place in work zones, evidence suggests otherwise. In fact, a recent accident involving a collapsing beam on I-90 serves as a prime example of how construction foreman or regulators sometimes fail to follow safety rules. Deemed preventable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the accident killed one worker and injured three others.

Sadly, proving negligence such as this can be especially difficult for drivers. As such, it is critical that they seek experienced legal counsel. The skilled Aurora construction accident attorneys at Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. have more than a century of experience and are committed to helping victims achieve justice. Schedule your free initial consultation with us and get the compensation and the legal representation you deserve. Call 630-907-0909 today.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-des-plaines-construction-accident-20160405-story.html

http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz/resources/facts_stats/injuries_fatalities.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/

https://www.osha.gov/doc/highway_workzones/

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