Construction zones are very dangerous places, especially when there are vehicles like cars and heavy-duty trucks involved. In 2018, 482 people were killed in construction zone crashes involving motor vehicle accidents. Additionally, out of every 5,000 private company worker fatalities, 20% occur in construction.
If you were driving by a construction zone and then got into a car accident, you may have gotten injured. Your car might have been damaged or totaled depending on the severity of the accident as well.
On the flipside, if you were working in a construction zone and were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may have suffered a minor or serious injury.
In either case, don’t fret. If you were in an accident in a construction zone, whether you were on the job or just driving by, there are some crucial steps you can take to get the treatment you need and the compensation you deserve.
Why Road Accidents Happen in Construction Zones
There are many different reasons why road accidents occur in construction zones. Within the construction zone, it’s loud, so it’s hard for workers to hear one another over the noise and know what’s going on. Some simple miscommunication can have disastrous consequences.
Workers may not be properly trained on things like operating vehicles and securing the construction site to ensure that people and vehicles can’t get in. For instance, they may forget to put up construction signs or have someone direct traffic away from the site. They might drive the construction vehicles right out into the street or dump debris onto the street, severely impairing drivers’ vision and ability to navigate the road.
The workers may not have the proper equipment to protect themselves, which means they are more susceptible to injury. Their vehicles could be damaged, which could also lead to injury. For instance, if a truck’s brakes suddenly stop working, that could cause a major accident.
The types of vehicles that are found in construction zones could cause much greater injury and damage than a regular motor vehicle. Vehicles like earth movers, cranes, dump trucks, forklifts, bobcats, backhoes, and road graders are very dangerous if they aren’t used properly. A worker could drive one too fast or not know which buttons are which and end up harming others.
What to Do If You’re in a Road Accident in a Construction Zone
If you were driving your car when you got into a road accident on or near a construction site, then the first thing to do is check yourself for any injuries and make sure you’re okay. If you’re not severely injured, take photos of the scene of the accident, including the construction site and any damage done to your vehicle. Gather information from witnesses and construction workers/site managers, especially those who saw what happened. Call your insurance company and let them know about the accident, and file a report with the police before you leave the site.
Then, go to a hospital right away to get the necessary medical examination. You should let your doctor know about any injuries you’re feeling, even if you only have whiplash. You never know what problems you could develop later on. Your doctor may have you undergo X-ray exams and possibly an MRI just to double-check that you’re okay.
You’ll need to contact a personal injury lawyer after that and give them all the information you collected as well as your medical records. They can help you figure out the wisest move, like whether or not you should sue the construction company for the accident.
If you were on your cell phone or driving while distracted in any other way, you may not get a settlement because it could be determined that the accident was your fault. Whatever happened, make sure you tell the truth. Otherwise, if witnesses say you are not being truthful or you were caught on camera doing something different than what you reported, you could get into trouble and risk your entire case.
In the other scenario, if you were working on a construction site when you were injured, you need to get medical attention as soon as possible, as well as report your injury to your direct supervisor. It’s best, at that point, to hire a personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the situation and guide you on what to do next. They’ll let you know whether it’s better to file a personal injury lawsuit or a workers’ compensation claim depending on what happened, and help you get the best results possible from your suit.
Possible Legal Outcomes from a Construction Zone Road Accident
In a situation where you were driving by a construction zone and got into an accident, you may be able to bring about a personal injury lawsuit and sue the construction site owners. With a personal injury lawyer on your side, you could get the treatment you need and a settlement to cover medical expenses and damages that came up because of your injury. For example, if you were not able to work because of your injuries or you suffered emotionally from them, then you could include that in your lawsuit.
The same goes for construction site workers. You could try and procure a settlement to pay for your treatment and damages. If you get workers’ compensation, your medical care, permanent or temporary disability, and vocational rehabilitation should be covered.
The amount you are awarded in a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit depends on the severity of your injuries, the destruction done to your personal vehicle if you were driving by, income you lost from the accident, and other relevant damages.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you on how to file your claim and what kind of settlement you should ask for in either scenario. Since you’re already busy going to doctors’ appointments and trying to get your life back to normal, you need a lawyer who can take care of all your legal needs.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer in Georgia
If you’ve been involved in a construction accident in Georgia, you may be entitled to compensation. To find out what a personal injury lawyer can do for you, contact the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Winston Briggs today.