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Signs of Danger: Auto Accidents and Construction Negligence

| Jon Montagna |

Construction on roadways is often a headache for drivers and can make it more difficult to avoid accidents.  Lanes are often blocked, driver visibility is lowered, and there is less room to maintain safety.  Car accidents in construction zones, or where errors have been made in road construction may not be any driver’s fault.  Negligence on the part of the construction company, or government agency may be the primary cause of the motor vehicle accident.  Accident liability in cases of road construction negligence is difficult to establish and equally difficult to pursue in court, making legal help necessary for anyone who has been involved in a construction zone accident.  

In a normal car crash, police reports and accident reports show the location of the accident and relevant traffic signals.  Insurance companies and car accident injury attorneys can view these reports clearly and understand who was at fault for the crash more easily.  The factors in a work zone auto accident are much more complex, and there may be more parties at fault for an injury.  

The Federal Highway Administration reports a high frequency of certain auto and truck accident types in construction zones.  The increased traffic density in urban and suburban construction zones is a contributing factor, with “43% of construction zone accidents occurring in these areas,” which account for only “5% of all construction areas.”  The number of car accidents involving trucks in construction zones is much higher than average.  Although injury and fatality rates for construction zone accidents are about the same as for normal driving conditions, the complexity of liability and fault make settling an accident injury case more difficult.  

When construction companies and municipalities fail to post proper warning signs before construction areas, their negligence can lead to motorists approaching the work zone too quickly, leading to accidents and injuries to both drivers and construction workers.  In most construction areas where auto accidents could result, any public agency that is doing construction on a road has “the responsibility of posting a warning sign… to avoid or reduce the accidents in a construction zone.” Virginia law requires that agencies, or companies post “conspicuous notices… lights, signs and lanterns” to make motorists aware of construction areas and decrease the chances of work zone auto accidents and injuries.  These steps to prevent accidents are not always taken, and an auto accident attorney from Montagna Klein Camden who has “been down the road before” and “knows what to expect from experience” will help you through your auto injury case. 

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