Auto Collisions in Construction Zones
According to The Mercury News, the city of San Jose repaired 200 miles of smaller streets and 88 miles of major roadways in 2019. Furthermore, The Mercury News reports that the 12-cent gas tax has allowed California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to plan for fixing 17,000 lane miles of pavement and 500 bridges by 2027. While these projects ultimately lead to smoother rides for drivers and passengers alike, the construction zones required to repair the roadways can be extra hazardous. The Federal Highway Administration reports that there are an average of 773 motor vehicle crash deaths per year due to construction and maintenance work zones.
Causes of Work Zone Crashes?
Road construction often requires drivers to shift lanes, merge into one lane from two, slow their speed, and drive next to obstacles such as barriers or cones. If the construction is taking place at nighttime, the lighting required by the construction crew can be harsh and also requires drivers to pay close attention to the road markers and other traffic nearby. Common causes of crashes include:
- Drivers who do not abide by the construction zone speed limit;
- Distracted drivers who fail to see signs or brake lights of the vehicle in front of them;
- Impatient drivers who merge without looking; and
- Drivers who follow too closely to the car in front of them.
It is also possible for a crash to be caused by the construction crew. Examples include:
- Drivers of construction vehicles not waiting until they have a clear path to maneuver;
- Dangerous construction equipment left in the roadway;
- Inadequate or improper placement of warning signs; and
- Narrowed roadways that are an unsafe width for safe vehicle travel.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Construction zones have doubled fines for drivers who speed through, but the traffic ticket a driver gets for causing a crash is separate from the personal injury claim that victims can file. If a person is injured they will likely have some or all of the following:
- An ambulance bill;
- Hospital and doctor bills;
- Lost income from being unable to work during recovery;
- Emotional distress from being involved in a trauma;
- Disfigurement; and
All of these elements are considered damages. A car crash victim can file a personal injury claim with the liable party’s insurance company to seek compensation for these damages. It is important to speak with a skilled attorney who can help you determine what your case is worth after any traffic collision.
Contact a San Jose Attorney if You Have Been in a Construction Zone Collision
Construction zones require drivers to put their full attention on the road. While there are additional hazards in these areas, it does not reduce a driver’s responsibility to safely navigate their vehicle without causing a collision. If you have been injured by an inattentive or impatient driver in a construction work zone, you need to speak with a knowledgeable San Jose car accident attorney from Solution Now Law Firm. We can assist you in filing for the compensation you deserve given the injuries you sustained. Contact our offices at 408-256-2871 to schedule a free consultation.