Who Is Responsible When Road Construction Causes an Accident?

Who Is Responsible When Road Construction Causes an Accident?

traffic barricades and road work ahead sign

October 23, 2018

Ellis Law Corporation

Auto Accident

In southern California, we all know the delays and traffic jams caused by road construction. Repair, maintenance, and construction of roads all need to be done. But the effect on traffic patterns and commute times can be enormous, and can last for months.

Assessing Negligence in a Road Construction-Related Crash

But what if road construction causes an accident? A sudden necessity for merging lanes, cones and barriers, construction crew directions and more can cause an uptick in traffic accidents — in fact, road construction areas are a frequent site of car accidents. Vehicles can collide with each other, hit the barriers and cones, or hit the debris that often goes along with road construction.

Negligence in road construction-caused accidents is determined the same way as negligence in other car crashes.

First, both construction crews and the governments who employ them and motorists all have a duty of care, which is the first step is possible negligence. Construction crews and governments have an obligation to follow standard rules in setting up construction areas, and making those rules clear and consistent to motorists. Vehicle drivers must follow the rules and obey other rules and regulations of the road, such as speed limits and right-of-way.

Second, negligence can be charged if responsible parties breached their duty of care. If construction crews and the governments who employ them will negligent in setting up clear directions as part of the construction site, in lane merges and detours, for example, they could be deemed negligent in a court of law.

But motorists, of course, also can breach their duty of care. If a driver is going too fast for the work zone, for example, or fails to merge safely, or doesn’t follow the construction crew signs on when to stop, they can fully or partly responsible for the accident.

Gathering Crash Evidence

While construction on the roads isn’t always to blame for accidents, there are multiple ways in which it can contribute to accidents. These include:

  • Negligent traffic control in the construction zone
  • Confusing lane markings
  • Debris, equipment, or construction vehicles in the way of traffic lanes
  • Poor visibility
  • Unsafe lane merges
  • Inconsistent or unmarked traffic patterns

If any of these or other conditions existed on the road construction site, they may have caused or contributed to your accident.

As a result, if you are in a collision in a road construction site or due to road construction, it’s a very good idea to consult an attorney immediately. Attorneys can perform investigations and gather evidence about the conditions that caused or contributed to your accident.

Need a Los Angeles Car Crash Lawyer?

If you or someone close to you has been in an accident at a road construction site, call the L.A. car crash lawyers at Ellis Law Corporation. We are seasoned in handling all issues related to car accidents, and work with experienced investigators.

Contact us today for a free appointment, at 310-641-3335.

Additional Resources:

  1. Road Work Ahead: Driving Safely in Construction Zones. SafeLite Auto Glass. March 23, 2017. https://www.safelite.com/resource-center/car-safety/driving-safely-construction-zones
  2. Safety on the Road. National Safety Council. https://www.nsc.org/road-safety.