Construction Site Car Accidents
Some New Mexico car accidents are the result of inadequate signage or conditions at a construction site on the road. For example, a driver may fail to slow down and flip over, causing other drivers to swerve or crash. Or a construction company may fail to post signs or hazard cones, resulting in drivers not knowing they should slow down. When construction is at night, drivers may fail to apprehend its dangers. If you are hurt in a car accident at a construction site in the Albuquerque area, the lawyers at the Fine Law Firm may be able to assert your rights.Establishing Liability for Crashes at Construction Sites
Sometimes the reason for a construction site accident is a lack of signage instructing drivers to slow down or closing down the appropriate lanes where the construction is taking place. If the road where this occurs is public, you may have a cause of action against the owner of the road, which may be a government entity or the construction company.
Property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for those invited onto it. However, the state and its employees have sovereign immunity from tort liability except when the state has expressly waived its immunity. In most cases, the state may be sued for an injury or death caused by negligence during maintenance of a roadway.
Under the New Mexico Statutes section 37-1-27, you cannot sue to recover damages for personal injuries arising out of defective or unsafe conditions of a real property improvement against the contractor or designer after 10 years have passed from the date of substantial completion. There is an exception when there are contractual provisions that expressly state otherwise.
Even when there are appropriate construction signs warning drivers, some drivers do not heed the warnings. In some cases, another driver may be partially or fully responsible for your injuries in a construction zone. New Mexico follows the rule of comparative fault in most cases. This means that a defendant will only have to pay a proportion of damages up to his or percentage of fault for an accident. The plaintiff will be responsible for the share of damages that represents his or her percentage of fault.
Suppose, for example, you are driving in a construction zone on a private road with no warning signs where another lane is unexpectedly forced to merge with yours. Another driver is speeding and at the last minute, realizing his lane is unexpectedly closing, swerves in front of you, cutting you off. You might sue the driver, the owner of the private road, and the construction company. The jury would evaluate the total damages and assign each party alleged to be at fault a percentage of responsibility. If the total damages awarded are $200,000, and the driver is found 50% at fault, the construction company is 25% at fault, and the owner of the road is 25% at fault, you could potentially recover $100,000 from the drunk driver and $50,000 each from the construction company and owner.Consult an Albuquerque Lawyer to Discuss Your Car Accident Case
Construction site accidents are often complex. If the government owns the road where the crash took place, it may be even more complicated to recover compensation. Injured residents of Albuquerque can consult an experienced motor vehicle collision attorney at the Fine Law Firm. Contact us via our online form or call us at (505) 243-4541 to set up a free consultation. The Fine Law Firm also assists accident victims in Rio Rancho and elsewhere in New Mexico.