Many roads in South Carolina are in a constant state of repair. Orange cones, flashing lights, and heavy machinery line the highways all across the Palmetto State as lanes are added, cracks are filled, and bridges are built. It is nearly impossible to avoid construction zones as you travel anywhere in the state, and it can be difficult to maneuver around misplaced cones and men in hard hats while also keeping an eye on the vehicles around you.
Why are construction zones so dangerous?
According to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, there were 713 work zone auto collisions in South Carolina in 2009; 282 people were injured at 8 were killed. There are many factors that make these areas dangerous for drivers and pedestrians:
- Misplaced traffic equipment - Barrels, cones, and signs may get moved around during the day, sometimes into the middle of the road. Drivers swerving to dodge misplaced equipment often come into contact with another vehicle or road barrier, causing serious injury.
- Lack of adequate warning signs - The Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) clearly states the type and number of warning signs required for specific types of road construction. If a contractor fails to follow these outlined safety regulations, oncoming traffic may not be able to prepare in time for lower speeds or closing lanes.
- Dangerous drivers - Careless drivers who fail to pay attention to speed limits, traffic signs, and road conditions often cause collisions in work zones when distracted, drunk, or speeding.
Who is at fault?
The Federal Highway Administration and the State of South Carolina have strict standards for keeping construction zones safe for motorists and construction workers alike. Because there are so many factors involved with an auto accident in a work zone, there may be an extensive investigation into what actually caused the accident. The fault may be placed on another driver, the construction company or independent contractor, or even a government agency.
If a reckless driver caused the accident, he or she may be held liable for damages and injuries sustained from the work zone collision. If a car accident occurred because the construction area failed to meet FHA safety standards, the contractor or government agency involved may be held responsible for the accident .
Do I need an attorney?
If you are seriously injured in a car accident in a construction area, seek medical attention immediately. Make sure the accident is documented thoroughly with photos or videos, official reports, and eye-witness testimonies.
If the accident was not your fault and you believe the construction company or another driver is to blame, you may need to talk with an experienced auto accident attorney who knows how to deal with work zone collision claims. Don't talk to any insurance companies without first consulting with a lawyer, who can help investigate the matter and determine exactly who is at fault and how to get the compensation you need to cover your damages.
If you have questions about filing a work zone auto accident claim , you can discuss your situation with the experienced legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers at a time and place most convenient for you.