In cities in Alabama and across the U.S. – and especially those with rising populations like Huntsville – infrastructure needs are increasing, and road construction is often necessary. Drivers must remain alert while driving and should exercise caution when driving in construction zones.
The municipality will usually try to facilitate safety by putting up warning signs, reducing speed limits, and closing off areas, but accidents are still common. Drivers and their passengers, as well as workers on the job, are at risk of severe or fatal injuries in the event of an accident.
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Causes of Road Work Accidents
Accidents in road construction zones are often caused by factors like low visibility, lane closures – especially those requiring short-notice merging – and construction vehicles entering and exiting work sites.
In some cases, drivers are put at risk by uneven or narrow lanes, lack of guard rails, potholes, and inattentive flaggers failing to warn of hazardous road conditions.
For workers, a construction site presents many safety hazards. Workers who are performing road construction tasks have to work with or near heavy machinery as well as perform their duties as pedestrians near the flow of traffic.
Common Road Construction Injuries
The most common injury experienced by road construction workers in car accidents is being struck by a moving vehicle. Common injuries sustained by road construction workers include:
- Injuries from being struck by a vehicle
- Crush injuries
- Industrial equipment-related accidents
For drivers involved in road construction accidents, the most common causes of injuries are:
- Collision with temporary bollards or rails
- Crashes caused by inattentive drivers
- Injury from debris or materials
- Vehicles entering or leaving the jobsite
Who Is Liable for Road Construction Injuries?
Workers’ compensation is usually available in the state of Alabama for construction workers who are hurt on the job. These benefits typically cover medical bills and provide partial replacement of lost income to the worker during their recovery.
However, workers’ compensation benefits may not be enough for workers who suffer catastrophic injuries caused by a negligent driver in a construction zone. Pain and suffering are not covered by workers’ compensation policies, and only a portion of the lost wages the worker would have earned are paid.
If you were hurt due to a negligent driver or a third-party contractor, you could be eligible to file a third-party lawsuit to secure additional compensation in addition to the worker’s comp benefits you are owed.
If you are a driver who was injured by another driver or due to construction company negligence, you could be eligible to pursue a personal injury claim against the person or party responsible for your injuries.
What to Do If You Are Injured Due to Road Construction
If you are a driver or a construction worker who has been hurt in an accident in a road construction zone, you should immediately seek medical care. Not only will you get the diagnosis and treatment that you need to protect your health, your visit to the emergency room or urgent care clinic will generate a medical record of treatment. This record could be vital if you need to file an injury claim.
If you are able to remain on site after the accident, secure as much evidence as possible. Photos of the scene and your injuries, eyewitness statements, and the contact information of the other parties involved could be vital later on. If you need emergency medical treatment, try to get someone on the scene to help collect this information for you.
If you were hurt at work, make sure to notify your supervisor immediately and file a written report as soon as you can.
As soon as you are able to, you should contact an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and learn about the legal options available to you.
How Can Morris King & Hodge, P.C., Help Me?
The Huntsville and Florence accident attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are prepared to help you seek compensation if you’ve been hurt in a road construction accident. We represent injured workers and others who have been hurt in accidents on or near road construction sites throughout Alabama.
After joining the Morris firm in 2004, it was his first venture into plaintiff’s personal-injury law. While he’s been co-counsel in numerous trials, he quickly took on the role of being the chief brief writer and appellate attorney in the office.