Construction work zones are a common sight across Arizona highways and beyond. However, due to the locations of these work zones, construction workers are at risk of suffering injuries of varying degrees in the event of a car accident.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident while working at a construction site, there are many legal options of which you should be aware. It would be in the injured party’s best interest to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine if there is a valid case against the at-fault driver or against the construction company.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, many accidents involving roadside workers were the result of driver negligence, reckless behavior, and speed. There are other instances, though, in which the fault lies on the construction company for failure to warn drivers of an upcoming work site.
What Steps Should You Take?
If you are the victim of a highway construction accident, the first step you should take is to seek the necessary medical help to address any injuries. If your injuries are serious, you should call for an ambulance.
You also need to make sure that both your supervisor and the human resources department is notified of the accident as soon as possible, to ensure that an accident report can be completed. This accident report may be of key importance later, especially if you move forward with filing a complaint.
You should also begin working with an attorney to help you prepare for, and navigate through, the intricacies of personal injury. Your attorney will work with you to preserve any evidence and determine what claims should be considered.
In many cases, workers injured in an accident should be entitled to benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. This means that a roadside worker injured in an accident would be entitled to benefits that pay for his or her medical treatment and partial lost wages until he or she is recovered and able to return to work.
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that workers are not required to show that the fault lies on the employer to receive compensation.
It is important to note, though, that workers’ compensation does not pay for additional damages such as pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Third Party Claims
An injured worker may also be able to file a personal injury claim against a third party who caused, or contributed to, the accident. With this type of claim, damages are not limited, as they are with workers’ compensation claims.
Damages in a third-party claim could include:
- Medical expenses, both past and present;
- Full compensation for lost wages;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Lost enjoyment of life;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Property damage.
Furthermore, if you suffered serious injuries, and your relationship with your spouse has been affected by these injuries, your spouse may also have a claim against the at-fault party for loss of consortium.
It is important to note that Arizona Laws require drivers to reduce speeds in a construction zone, regardless of whether workers are on sight. Additionally, if a driver is caught speeding in a construction zone, the fines increase if workers are on site, and then increase even more if an injury results from the negligence.
In addition, the State, County or City could be deemed liable for an accident that occurs if they:
- Failed to adequately notify drivers by using no or insufficient warning signs;
- Left equipment in the road where it was hazardous to drivers;
- Failed to properly mark temporary lanes for the drives to follow;
- Failed to notify drivers of dangerous areas (i.e., hole in the road, missing guard rail on step bank); or
- Failed to guide traffic patterns when necessary.
Contact Yearn Law Office Today
If you or a loved one were injured in a highway construction accident, and you think that you may be entitled to compensation, contact our law offices immediately. We will work with you to discuss which legal options may be available, and which damages you may have a claim for. Call us today at (480) 502-0708!