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. But more problematic than this inconvenience, however, are the many additional dangers that inevitably 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 liability 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 are a real threat out on the highway. But they get a lot more dangerous when construction happens. 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 asleep because they had driven too long, or even 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 the folks to be within mere feet of highway traffic. If a large truck doesn’t pay close attention to the traffic cones or construction vehicles, one tiny swerve can instantly kill workers.
3. The construction crews sometimes make mistakes. Department of Transportation regulations specify exactly how much warning work crews are required to provide oncoming traffic through 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 contribute to the cause. Finding out exactly how and why the accident occurred will require a thorough investigation by your truck accident attorney, because even police reports can often get these accidents wrong. If you think your accident would be classified in another area other than construction zone accidents, you can read up on them in our article, common types of 18-wheeler accidents.
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 could be at fault, the most likely reaction among them? Finger pointing. When there are other people to blame, it’s common practice for companies and drivers to find 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 pittance of your case’s value.
The only solution? Hiring an experienced attorney to pick through the pieces and file a lawsuit. We like handling cases out of court as much as anyone, but trucking and construction companies are notorious for denying claims and hiding behind the complexity of the situation. The only time they’ll sit up and take notice is when they’re facing a serious threat from a jury verdict. If that sounds harsh, it’s only because we’ve been doing this kind of law for a quarter century and haven’t seen anything to tell us we’re wrong.
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’re scared of you. The fact is, without the legal process behind you, the deck is stacked in their favor. You might have had an OK experience with an insurance company before, say, when 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 we can help
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 outline the strengths and weaknesses of your case and let you know how we may be able to help.
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