Construction zones can be dangerous places, both for workers and drivers. Workers may have to work close to speeding traffic, while drivers must navigate new routes and road hazards. If someone gets injured or dies in a construction zone accident, legal and financial responsibility – otherwise known as liability – will generally go to the party that broke a law or whose actions fell short of the required duty of care. Learn more about liability for this type of collision in New Mexico to understand your rights.
Common Causes of Construction Zone Accidents
If you get injured in a construction zone accident, one of the first steps that you will have to take in the recovery process is determining the cause of the harmful incident. The cause of the accident can point to the identity of the at-fault or liable party, allowing you to file an insurance claim against that person or entity. You may need an attorney to investigate the construction zone accident and determine its cause for you. Common causes of these disasters include:
- Equipment left too close to the road
- Lack of warning signs posted
- Confusing signs or detours
- Unsafe road defects
- Uneven shoulders
- Missing guardrails
- Speeding drivers
- Reckless or careless drivers
- Distracted drivers
Investigating a construction zone accident often requires revisiting the scene where it happened, interviewing eyewitnesses, obtaining depositions, reviewing police accident reports, looking at photos and videos, hiring experts, and more. If one or more parties reasonably could have prevented your accident, they will most likely be liable for the collision and your related injuries or losses.
When a Construction Company Is Liable
A construction company could be liable for a construction zone accident if it or one of its employees was negligent and this contributed to the accident. Negligence in personal injury law refers to a careless failure to meet or uphold the accepted duties of care. A duty of care generally means an obligation to exercise reasonable care, or to take the actions that a reasonable and prudent party would in the same circumstances.
If a construction company fell short of what it should have done to maintain a safe construction zone and keep workers and passersby safe, the company could be held responsible for a related accident, injury or death. For example, if the construction company neglected to properly maintain the construction site, put up accurate warning signs and operate construction vehicles in a safe manner, the company could be liable for an accident.
When a Driver Is Liable
A motor vehicle driver could be liable for a construction zone accident, on the other hand, if he or she behaved in a way that a safe driver would not have, and if this is what caused the accident. Drivers have a responsibility to drive with due care, especially in potentially dangerous circumstances such as construction zones.
Drivers can make many mistakes that increase the risk of accidents in construction zones, including speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving and ignoring roadway signs. If a driver broke a traffic law or was negligent behind the wheel, he or she could be responsible for the accident.
Consult With an Attorney in New Mexico
Whether you were injured as a construction worker or driver in a construction zone accident in New Mexico, you may be eligible for financial compensation from one or multiple parties. The construction company, an independent contractor, a motor vehicle driver, a property owner or a combination of parties could be liable for your injuries and related bills. The best way to pursue the financial compensation that you deserve is with assistance from a personal injury lawyer.
An attorney can revisit the scene of your construction zone accident to search for signs of negligence or fault. Then, your attorney can help you gather evidence to prove that someone else caused your accident and should be held liable. You can relax and focus on your recovery while a lawyer builds a compelling personal injury claim on your behalf. Consult with an attorney at The Fine Law Firm today for more information.