If you get into an auto accident in a work zone, you have the same rights to recover for your injuries and other financial losses as you do for any auto accident. However, the special circumstances surrounding construction work may change how you go about your claim or give you additional ways to recover. Here's what to look for.
1. Always Involve the Other Driver
You should always go through the other driver and their insurance company no matter what. For example, you don't think they're to blame because something about the construction work caused them to hit you and you'd rather have the construction company pay. That's not how legal fault works.
In many cases, a driver who needs to take evasive action is still responsible if that causes them to do damage to someone else. After all, they're responsible for maintaining control over their car. They might be able to sue whoever made them take evasive action, but you need to go through the other driver. You don't want to agree to not pursue the other driver when that's the only party you can recover from. You might not see any payment.
2. Pay Close Attention to Speed
Speed is a factor in many accidents, but it will often be very important in a construction zone. Speed limits are usually lowered for construction work. Sometimes, the reason is obvious like a road that narrows and temporarily winds around the work zone. Other times, you may not think the lower speed limit is necessary, but speed can still help establish negligence even if it's only a secondary factor. Try to get witnesses or record the damage to establish speeding when possible.
3. When You Can Sue the Construction Company
As a general rule, you can't sue just because your accident was in a construction zone or road conditions are less than ideal. That's why there are warning signs and everyone is supposed to slow down. You can sue the construction company in cases of negligence. This might include tools or debris left on the road, no warnings about very rough pavement, or workers or equipment suddenly moving into traffic. Your auto accident attorney will need you to explain exactly how your accident happened to start to look into if the construction company might share some of the blame.
To learn more about how to handle an auto accident that happened in a work zone, contact a local auto accident attorney today.