San Diego Car Accident in Construction Zone Attorney
Have you or a loved one been involved in a car crash? Was your accident in a construction zone? Were you injured? Have you been told you injured your spinal column and may be partially paralyzed? Are you wondering how you are going to cope with your life moving forward? If these questions sound familiar, you need a committed San Diego car accident attorney to help you prepare a compensation case. You need a professional law firm that will take your case as seriously as you do.
The Levinson Law Group is a respected San Diego car accident law firm with extensive experience working with clients injured in construction zone accidents. Unlike many other law firms in the area, we only handle car accident claims, which gives us unparalleled knowledge and experience of what goes into these cases. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call.
Construction Zone Accident Statistics
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Work Zone Facts and Statistics, one work zone death happens approximately every 4 billion vehicle miles of travel for every $112 million worth of road construction. Between 2018 and 2019, fatal car accidents in construction zones increased by 11 percent. Fatal crashes outside of those zones decreased by 2 percent. In 2019, virtually one-quarter of deadly work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions.
Construction zone accidents in California, including the San Diego area, happen frequently. Construction zone accidents happen because the construction zone affects traffic flow and speed limits. Many unsuspecting drivers and numerous aggressive drivers run the risk of causing a crash. Those driving while distracted, speeding, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol stand a higher chance of being involved in a crash in a construction zone.
Causes of Construction Zone Car Accident
The leading causes of car accidents in construction zones include:
- Changing Speed Limits. Rapid deceleration to meet construction zone speed limits. If a driver is not paying attention to where they are going, and they realize a construction site is coming up, or they are already entering it, they can rear-end another vehicle. This may cause a chain reaction of rear-end collisions.
- Distracted driving. Abrupt lane changes and merges are common in a construction zone. If distracted drivers are not alert or unaware of a lane merge, they may drive into the construction site or swerve into another lane, causing a crash.
- Lack of signage or improper, unclear signage is one of the major causes of car accidents in construction zones. Warning signs need to clearly instruct drivers construction is ahead and to slow down. If the signs are not up or unclear, a driver may continue on the regular highway speeds only to discover they either need to slow down or stop abruptly. This sudden braking can cause an accident.
- Road Debris. Leaving equipment in the middle or on the side of the road is an accident looking for a place to happen.
- Improper training. Accidents can also happen when a construction company hires workers who are not adequately trained to work safely in a highway construction zone.
- Poor Visibility. Low visibility is another issue, and if combined with poor lighting, it increases the chances of a nighttime car accident. Workers on-site can be hard to see unless they wear bright, reflective colors, and there are signs and cones on the road.
The Move Over Law
Every state in the United States has a “move over law,” which means drivers must either slow down or change lanes when there is emergency personnel or construction workers on the side of the road. Despite this law, drivers pulled over for not obeying it claim they do not know about it.
In California, the first “move over law” was passed in 2007, but its focus was aimed at emergency vehicles and tow trucks with flashing amber lights. In 2010 the law was amended to also to include Caltrans workers who were working on construction zones. Now, the “move over law” applies to any vehicle stopped on the side of the road with flashing lights.
Unfortunately, even with the law in place, over 1,000 Caltrans vehicles are hit every year.
California Car Accident Liability
Car accidents in construction zones are not the same as those between two passenger vehicles on the road or highway. Construction zones present various issues that need to be dealt with in addition to the accident itself. These accidents are different as they may involve a battle over whether a municipality, contractor or another party is liable. The more parties involved or potentially liable, the more insurance is likely on the table, and insurance is what pays damages.
Being a fault and a comparative fault state means that someone must be liable for causing an accident. The comparative fault doctrine states that more than one individual can be found at fault for contributing to a crash. What determines the degree or percentage of fault involved is the negligence of each party to the collision.
Negligence on the part of a car driver may include that they did not slow down when they entered the construction zone, did not merge lanes according to the signs to avoid the work zone, or did not completely stop when noticing a traffic slow down or traffic jam. Negligence on the part of a driver can also include behaviors like speeding, driving while distracted, driving under the influence or driving recklessly.
Negligence on the part of workers in the construction zone, or on the part of various companies working in the zone that may result in a car accident include not having barriers or cones properly placed, or not having them out at all, not putting out the proper signage to instruct drivers where to merge and when to stop, and not being highly visible by wearing the appropriate reflective clothing or having high-intensity lights that make the construction site and the workers clearly visible.
How to Avoid a Construction Zone Car Crash
Here are some of the things you can do to avoid a construction-zone car accident. They include:
- Slow Down Early. The very first sign you see that mentions construction ahead on your route, begin to slow down and start watching for more signs, merge lanes and other changes to the road you are traveling. This means also watching cars ahead of you to see if they are slowing down.
- Do Not Pass Vehicles. If another vehicle ahead of you is stopping or yielding the right of way to construction vehicles, slow down and stop. Do not attempt to pass that vehicle or cut it off, particularly on a two-way highway. That could result in a head-on collision. Not slowing down can also result in a rear-end crash.
- Use your vehicle’s taillights to communicate with other drivers. Warn of a merge ahead of you. If your taillights are not operative, use hand signals. Do what you can to avert an accident. The hand signal you can use for merging or turning left is a straight left arm. To come to a stop, create a 90-degree angle with your left arm bent down at the elbow. Bend the left arm up at the elbow to make a 90-degree angle to merge or turn right.
Contact the Levinson Law Group Today
At The Levinson Law Group, our dedicated team of construction zone car accident lawyers is ready to help. If you or a loved one were involved in a collision, reach out to The Levinson Law Group attorneys right away. If you have questions about the recovery process, we can answer them. If you are not sure you want to bring a case against the negligent party, we will not pressure you. We only want to make sure that you are informed to make the best decision for yourself and your family.
When you decide to work with The Levinson Law Group, you can rest assured that you will have someone in your corner throughout the entire process. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs. To learn more about your options, call The Levinson Law Group at 760-827-1700.