A Quick Guide to Car Accidents in Texas Road Work Zones
What happens when you get into a car accident in a road work zone in Texas?
You never want to get into a car accident, but if there’s any place you really don’t want to be involved in an accident, it’s in a work zone.
That’s because fines double in work zones. However, work zones must have signs clearly designating them for that purpose, and workers must be present. That said, fines can easily skyrocket.
What’s the leading cause of accidents and citations?
That comes straight from the Texas DOT.
You’d think construction workers would most frequently experience severe injuries and fatalities.
However, that may not be the case.
85% of the 4,400 people who died in work zone accidents were actually the passengers or drivers of vehicles, says Federal Highway Administration data. And drivers lose their lives more frequently than passengers.
How You Can Show The Government Or Contractors Were Negligent
Road construction crews are frequently negligent in their behavior, which leads to your auto accident.
To show they were negligent in some way, you must demonstrate:
- They dad a duty to keep a construction zone safe. It’s usually pretty easy to show, but exceptions exist.
- They breached their duty.
- That breach led to your injuries.
So a common approach would be to show how a construction crew violated state or federal safety regulations. If they didn’t place warning signs the correct distance from their construction zone to warn you, that likely constitutes a breach in their duty to keep the construction zone safe.
Other common breaches include requiring motorists to make too sharp of a turn, leaving a dangerous condition in the pavement without warning motorists, and poor maintenance of the road following completion of construction.
Once you show a breach happened, you have to connect that breach to your injuries. So, if signs warning of a construction zone weren’t posted an adequate distance from the construction zone, but you drove through for a good mile before hitting a construction barrel, liability likely falls on you.
You may not have had adequate notice. However, you knew you were in a construction zone at the time of your automobile accident.
But if you don’t get adequate warning and you lose control of your car and had to swerve to dodge barrels you didn’t expect, liability likely falls on the construction company.
Remember the Golden Rule of Driving on Road Work Zones: Always Slow Down!
You’ve probably heard the “Give ‘Em a Brake” campaign by National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse.
Think of it as “giving yourself a break.” Because, as you learned, most work zone fatalities happen to drivers and passengers, and not construction crews.
That said, they do end up victims also. So, give yourself and them a break by slowing down whenever you enter a construction zone.
You’re much better off not risking a serious accident than being a couple minutes earlier to your destination. And if you do find yourself in a serious road work zone accident, make sure you hire the best personal injury attorney you can find. You can afford them because they only charge a percentage of what you finally win.