Living in Western Nebraska, you most likely have encountered construction work zones on the U.S. highways in the area or while traveling on I-80 or I-25. Traffic accidents in road construction work zones aren’t as common as other crashes, but they still happen far too often. Additionally, workers are often present, creating a larger danger for fatalities when negligent drivers don’t drive carefully.
If you sustained injuries in a road construction accident as a worker or a motorist, Nebraska law entitles you to seek damages in civil court to compensate you for losses related to the accident and injury. For more information about how a skilled personal injury attorney can assist you after a road construction accident, contact the Robert Pahlke Law Group at (308) 633-4444 for a free consultation.
Types of Road Construction Accidents
The nature of a road construction work zone promotes certain types of accidents when negligent drivers are present. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), the four most common types of road construction accidents include:
The NHTSA estimates that rear-end collisions account for about one-third of car accidents across the nation, and the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) reports rear-end collisions are the most common accidents in road construction work zones. Road construction areas often have heavy traffic and single lanes, requiring drivers to pay extra attention to cars in front of them. A rear-end collision is typically a result of a distracted or inattentive driver.
Fixed Object Collision
Inattentive and careless drivers might crash into a fixed object in a road construction work zone. Fixed objects include drums, barricades, equipment, and heavy machinery. In the worst cases, workers manning these vehicles might also suffer harm.
According to the NHTSA, angle collisions are the second most common type of accident across the U.S. Road construction zones have areas where vehicles transition between lanes, making angle collisions likely when negligent drivers are present. Angle collisions happen most often when vehicles need to merge in a road construction zone.
Head On Collision
Head on collisions are the least common type of accident in construction zones, but when they do happen, they are often fatal. Head on collisions typically occur in work zones where one of two lanes of a highway is closed, requiring traffic to take turns driving through the construction zone. Workers typically hail a group of cars through the zone, stop traffic, and wait for them to get through. Next, they change direction and allow traffic from the other side to proceed. If workers make a mistake by letting oncoming traffic enter too soon, a head on collision is likely to occur.
Causes of Road Construction Accidents
Generally speaking, negligence leads to road construction accidents, but drivers are not always the culprits. Sometimes road construction companies or crews might also play a part in a road construction accident. Examples where the driver and the road crew might be liable include:
Negligent Driver Actions
- Traveling over the posted speed limit or going too fast for conditions
- Driving while distracted by cell phone, eating, passengers, daydreaming, etc.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Disobeying traffic signs and road crew direction
- Illegal lane changes in a road construction zone
Negligent Road Construction Crew Actions
- Leaving equipment and machinery in the path of traffic
- Dropping objects from road construction vehicles
- Failure to post informational signs about construction zones and hazards
- Moving machinery and equipment without looking for traffic
- Road construction workers walking or standing in the way of traffic
- Mistakenly sending traffic down a one-lane road when traffic when vehicles coming in the opposite direction haven’t cleared the construction zone
Seeking Compensation After a Road Construction Accident
If you file a lawsuit against a negligent party for injuries you sustained in a road construction accident, you might recover the following damages in a settlement or verdict in your favor:
- Medical costs, including ambulance and emergency services, hospital stay, X-rays, surgery, medication, and follow-up visits
- Future medical costs for severe injuries requiring around-the-clock care, extensive recovery, or long-term healthcare
- Rehabilitation costs, such as physical therapy and assistive devices like wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and canes
- Lost wages due to missing work from an injury
- Future lost wages when a severe or catastrophic injury prevents an injured person from returning to their job or requires them to change careers to a lower paying job
- Pain and suffering and other non-economic costs applicable to an injury
If you are a road construction worker who was injured by a vehicle in a work zone, or you lost a loved one in a road construction accident, consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Workers typically will need to file a workers’ comp claim to recover some damages, but should discuss all of their options with a qualified attorney.
Depending on the specific relationship to the deceased, surviving family members might be able to recover many of the above damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, as well as burial expenses, funeral costs, and non-economic damages specific to survivors.
Contact Robert Pahlke Law Group After Your Road Construction Accident
Road construction is an annoyance all drivers because slower speeds and condensed lanes often lead to delays. Yet, road construction is necessary to keep highways safe for travel. Remaining attentive is the best way to avoid road construction accidents, but you have no control over other drivers or negligent road crews.
If you have suffered injuries in a road construction accident, you most likely are dealing with the additional emotional and financial stress caused by an accident, on top of the physical pain of injury and recovery. You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. The compassionate and experienced road construction accident lawyers at Robert Pahlke Law Group can help you hold negligent parties accountable and advocate for you to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Contact our office at (308) 633-4444 or online for a free consultation to determine the best path forward for your situation. If you choose Robert Pahlke Law Group to represent you in a personal injury claim, we handle cases on contingency, collecting attorney fees from any compensation we secure for you.