Although everyone has a responsibility to keep road construction workers safe, sometimes there are injuries that result from negligence on the part of those responsible for maintaining a safe working site. Inadequate signage, low visibility and unacceptable road conditions can all cause vehicle drivers — or the workers themselves — to be injured.
In certain instances, these injuries are the liability of the “road owner” or the construction project owner rather than the fault of the car that happened to wreck. Determining liability from road construction accidents can be tough, though, so look to these following points along with the help of a New Jersey road accident lawyer when weighing the merits of your case.
Types of Road Construction Mistakes That Could Incur Liability
There are many different scenarios where a vehicle can wreck near a construction project through no legal fault of their own. Here are just some of the most common ones:
Failure to Use Proper Signage
Motorists generally expect a road to have similar conditions to others, which means they are going to be driving at relatively fast speeds and expecting minimal turning maneuvers. Without proper signage, they are going to continue this behavior past a construction zone, which could easily lead to collisions or off-road accidents.
In other words, failure to anticipate a dangerous area is not the driver’s fault if they did not have enough advance warning or instruction on how to adjust their driving.
Leaving Dangerous Conditions in Pavement
Rough road surfaces can easily cause loss of traction, especially with motorcycles. Construction crews must either direct traffic around these dangerous patches or give motorists ample warning to slow down and prepare for them.
Forcing Motorists to Make Too Sharp of a Turn
U.S. and state regulations govern engineering standards that dictate maximum speeds given the curvature of a road. Construction crews that force drivers over sharp curves must therefore allow drivers ample time to prepare for the curve and slow down.
If the posted speed limits exceed the maximum realistic speed for the curve, the crew or project planner may have failed in their duty to keep drivers safe.
Any Violation of Law
Look to Federal and New Jersey State construction codes and statutes for strict requirements regulating the proper use of signage and the proper design of a construction zone. If you find that the crew or project owner violated these laws, your case could have a strong legal standing for negligence.
Proving Negligence from Road Construction Accidents
In order to prove negligence for a construction accident, the complaint needs three main elements:
- A duty of care — Construction projects are governed by aforementioned rules as well as best practices, establishing an explicit duty of care to protect motorists and workers from avoidable harm.
- A breach in the duty of care — A violation of state law or an action that is very likely to result in injury can demonstrate a breach in the established duty of care for the defending party.
- An injury directly caused by the breach in duty — A minimum level of injury must be established to bring a negligence complaint against someone. That injury must have also resulted directly from the negligent behavior, so the contributory negligence of the injury victim will also be in question.
If you have been the victim of a road construction accident, whether as a driver or as a worker, and you think that negligence may have been to blame, you can shed light on your case with the help of an experienced New Jersey road accident attorney.
Contact the Law Offices of Peter N. Davis for a free consultation and to possibly start your case today.