When road construction is present, the work-zone is covered in signs and bright orange cones and barrels to alert drivers of the work being done. The brightly colored signs get your attention for one reason: Safety. Yet, work-zone accident after another unfortunately have become commonplace.
Here in Charleston, we find ourselves encountering road work almost on a regular basis. Whether it’s on I-26, Highway 52, or downtown, it’s a part of many locals’ daily commute.
While the workers are diligently working to improve our state’s infrastructure, it’s important for drivers to observe the laws and safety measures put into place to avoid a work-zone accident. If you or a loved one finds themselves involved in a work-zone accident, the dedicated team at Hoffman Law Firm is here to help. Read on to learn more.
Common Accident Causes
Work-zone accidents can be a result of either the workers’ or other drivers’ negligence. As a driver, potential accident-causing hazards in a work-zone may include:
– Equipment in the road
– Failure to appropriately mark hazards
– Poorly marked lanes
– Inadequate road signs
– Improper directions or traffic control
– Inadequate lighting of work-zone at night
– Objects falling on vehicles
Many drivers that cause accidents in a work-zone are often careless and don’t acknowledge the rules of the construction zone. Accidents caused by other drivers typically result in a side-swipe accident or fender benders. Dangerous, accident-causing driver behaviors can include:
– Distracted driving
– Ignoring traffic signs or flaggers directing traffic
– Failure to merge
When driving through a work-zone, it’s important to stay alert and pay even more attention than usual. Always drive slowly and with caution, following the reduced speed limit posted in the construction zone. Avoid tailgating and leave ample room between you and the car in front of you to lower your risk of a rear-end collision.
It’s important to stay calm and patient with other drivers when traveling through a work-zone. It’s also helpful to leave early and give yourself enough time to navigate a construction zone.
6 Steps on What to Do If You Are in a Work-Zone Accident
If you’ve been involved in a work-zone accident, there are a few important steps to take following the accident that can help your case.
Step 1: Remain on the scene
It’s important to stay on the scene of the accident, even if it seems minor. If you do leave, you can potentially be charged with a hit-and-run.
Step 2: Call emergency services
If you are able, immediately call 911 to report the accident. The police and emergency medical care will respond to the scene of the crash to assess damages and injuries, as well as collect evidence for their accident report.
Step 3: Seek medical attention
While you may feel fine at the moment, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately following your accident. If you plan to make a legal claim, your medical record may become a key piece of evidence in your case, so it’s important to have proof of medical care.
Step 4: Take photos and videos
Immediately following the accident, take as many photos and videos as possible to properly document the accident. Capture the damage on your vehicle, any injuries, the road conditions, and the surrounding area. Also, note the surrounding signage and markings of the work-zone, including placement of barrels, cones, and equipment, if it applies to your accident. The more documentation you have, the better.
Step 5: Gather witness statements and contact information
Witness accounts of your work-zone accident will also be beneficial if you take legal action. Talk to any witnesses, record a statement from them, and get their contact information so you can easily get in touch with them, if needed.
Step 6: Contact your insurance company and a personal injury attorney
Whether or not you were at fault, contact your insurance company to report the accident and avoid discussing your opinion on the accident or admitting any fault. Next, contact your local personal injury attorney. A skilled legal team, like our Charleston-area team at Hoffman Law Firm, will handle the tricky questions from the insurance company and help you recover damages from your accident.
Contact Hoffman Law Firm
Road work-zones are all around us, especially when you’re a daily commuter or regular traveler. A work-zone accident can happen to anyone, at the fault of the workers or another driver. If you need a dedicated legal team following a work-zone accident, call Hoffman Law Firm.
Located in Charleston, SC, we support accident victims throughout the Palmetto State. Our personal injury lawyers here at Hoffman Law Firm have extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases. We have established a reputation for success, as well as great service!
To meet with a member of our team, schedule your free consultation today. We are here to help!
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