Road work is an unavoidable part of modern life, but for most people, the worst thing about it is the delays, traffic, and frustration. Yet for some, construction zones can prove dangerous or even deadly stretches of roads and highways. If you were hurt in a construction zone accident in Maryland, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Taking swift action and retaining an experienced attorney will help.
What causes road construction accidents?
Road construction is almost always in close proximity to free-flowing traffic. That allows plenty of opportunities for dangerous conditions to cause accidents and injury to motorists. A few of the most common hazards posed by road construction are:
No lane markings, or unsafe and confusing markings. When roads are closed, traffic has to be diverted into new lanes. Sometimes new roads open before they are painted with proper markings. Lane markings also may be covered up by debris or may confuse drivers who are not used to them. All of these make it challenging for motorists.
Narrow lanes. Concrete barriers, cones, and barrels are common parts of the landscape in and around construction zones. These items are designed to keep vehicles out of roads being worked on, and therefore keep both drivers and workers safe. But they have the unfortunate effect of narrowing roads and making them much less safe to drive.
Construction vehicles and equipment. You can count on dump trucks and other large construction vehicles routinely entering and exiting the construction zone or traveling the shoulder. The same goes for heavy equipment being transported to or from a site. Trucks, machinery, and equipment tend to be slow-moving, so when they enter or exit the main road they can cause accidents.
Road debris. Construction means plenty of debris that should be contained within the safety of the construction zone and its barriers. But this doesn’t always happen. Limbs, trees, rocks, dirt, concrete, broken equipment, cones, barrels – all of these and more could end up in the roadway and lead to serious or fatal wrecks.
Construction workers in the roadway. Construction workers should remain safely behind the barriers that set the construction zone apart from the main road. However, some of them end up in the path of oncoming traffic, or close enough to the road to cause distractions for drivers. This may lead to accidents as drivers attempt to avoid hitting workers.
These and other hazards are bad enough, and they become even deadlier when bad weather and nighttime conditions are added. Proper signage, lighting, carefully placed barriers, and adequate construction site maintenance will keep the risk of serious accidents at a minimum. But when construction workers and companies fail to adhere to these rules, drivers can get hurt.
Liability in Construction Zone Accidents
Who do you hold liable after a construction zone accident? Multiple parties may be involved with the construction, and all or some of them may be responsible for your injuries. Potential defendants include:
- The responsible local, state, or federal government entity
- The construction company overseeing the project
- Contractors and subcontractors hired by the construction company
- Road crews and other construction personnel
If you’ve been hurt in a Maryland road construction accident, a knowledgeable attorney can fight to win you compensation for your medical bills, lost time from work, and other damages. Give Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP a call today to find out more.