18-Wheeler Liability for Accidents in Construction Zones
We are all aware that road construction zones cause traffic to be backed up as cars have to bottleneck through one or two lanes. More problematic than this inconvenience, however, are the many additional dangers that grow out of the traffic that comes with construction, especially when large vehicles like commercial trucks are involved. In this article we'll give some examples of 18-wheeler crashes in construction zone scenarios that we've witnessed in the past 25 years of practicing truck accident law.
Questions Answered on This Page:
- How do truck accidents happen in construction zones?
- How can responsible parties be held accountable?
- What kind of compensation is available?
- How can a lawyer help?
Why truck accidents happen so much in construction zones.
Everyone knows that 18-wheelers often cause crashes out on the highway. But things get a lot more dangerous when they're traveling through construction zones. There are three main reasons for this:
1. Traffic stops at unexpected times. This is usually the biggest problem. Cars and trucks are barreling down the road at a high rate of speed when they turn the corner and traffic is stopped. Trucks weigh 80,000 pounds, and it takes a lot of effort to stop that much mass. Most drivers pay adequate enough attention to the road to stop in time without causing any problems to anyone, but a few irresponsible drivers can cause incredible destruction. We've seen cases where truck drivers were playing with their cell phones, were barely awake because they had driven too long without a break, or even had a reduced reaction time because they were on drugs or alcohol. Drivers---especially truck drivers---have only a few moments to make the decision to stop. When they don't, people die.
2. Construction workers are in a vulnerable position. There's a reason those WORK ZONE signs tell us all to slow down when there are construction workers around: the men and women working at the site are in dangerously close proximity to the vehicles speeding by. It's not uncommon for these workers to be within mere feet of highway traffic. If a large truck doesn't pay close enough attention to traffic cones or construction vehicles, one tiny swerve can instantly kill workers.
3. Construction crews sometimes make mistakes. Department of Transportation regulations specify exactly how much warning work crews are required to provide oncoming traffic using traffic signs, cones, etc. When a crew member or supervisor fails to put up adequate notice, people can come upon a construction zone and crash into stopped cars unintentionally.
If you've suffered some kind of loss in one of these accidents, you might have a pretty good idea as to what happened. But as the above list shows, there are many factors that might have contributed to what happened. Finding out exactly how and why the crash occurred will require a thorough investigation by your truck accident attorney, because even police reports can often get things wrong. If you your wreck took place somewhere other than a construction zone but still involved a semi-truck, you can read up on other common ways these crashes can occur here.
The company or person who caused your accident will try not to pay you what you deserve.
When you've got a trucking company, a truck driver, and potentially a construction company who all bear some share of the blame for what happened, mutual finger pointing becomes highly likely. When there are other people to blame, it's common practice for companies and drivers to find or manufacture some reason to put the blame on someone else. The result for you: no one pays you anything even close to approaching the money you need to recover. Sure, you may get a phone call from an adjuster, but that pleasant-seeming person will only twist the facts and use your own words against you before offering a fraction of what the wreck has cost you.
The only solution? Hiring an experienced attorney to thoroughly investigate what happened, file suit on your case, and hold any responsible parties accountable. We like handling cases out of court as much as anyone, but trucking and construction companies are notorious for refusing to pay victims fair compensation and hiding behind the complexity of the situation. The only thing that can make them sit up and take notice is the serious threat of a jury verdict against them. That may sound like an overly harsh assessment, but we've been doing this kind of law for a quarter century and haven't seen much to suggest it isn't an accurate one.
There's substantial insurance money to go after. Don't waste this chance to get it.
Truckers and construction companies share one thing in common, for sure: they have a lot of insurance money. The problem? Giving you that money isn't their call, but the insurance carrier's. Even if they wanted to, once the insurance company takes over the case, it's their money, and they're not going to part with it unless they believe you might be able to make them pay even more at trial. The fact is, without experienced legal help behind you, the deck is stacked in their favor. You might have had an OK experience with an insurance company before when, say, something went wrong in your house or you got into a fender-bender. But insurance companies will fight you a lot more when the policy is much larger.
Depending on what happened in your accident, you could recover lost wages, medical expenses both now and in the future, and money for your emotional and physical suffering. Trucks in Texas have to carry at least $1 million in insurance, and construction companies usually have a lot more than that. In other words, there's usually money out there. You just need to find the right lawyer to help you get it.
How Grossman Law Offices Can Help You Even The Score
In the last 25 years, the attorneys of Grossman Law Offices have helped thousands of personal injury victims obtain full and fair compensation. This type of case can be exceedingly complex - especially when there are multiple defendants involved - so you will have to have a lawyer who is familiar enough with this kind of litigation to plot the proper course of legal action.
If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a trucking accident in a construction zone, please do not hesitate to call Grossman Law Offices at our toll free number (855) 326-0000, for a confidential consultation. We will give you an honest assessment of your case and let you know how we may be able to help.
Related Articles for Further Reading
- Special Considerations for Truck Accidents Caused by Crane Trucks
- 18-Wheeler Pedestrian Accidents
- Who Is Really to Blame for Single Vehicle Truck Accidents