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Road Work Zone Accidents

The roads in Georgia need constant repair, so it is not unusual to see work zones while workers repave roads, widen shoulders, and fix potholes. Unfortunately, work zones are particularly dangerous places for workers and drivers alike. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration, there were 96,626 crashes in work zones in 2015. This represented almost an 8% increase over the year prior and a 42% increase in only two years.

Types of Work Zone Accidents

Road crews must watch for dangers coming from all different directions. For example, they might suffer an injury by:

  • A dangerous driver. In the blink of an eye, drivers can quickly come upon a roadwork zone when they least expected it. If the driver is traveling too fast, they might strike construction workers, often killing the worker and even injuring themselves in the process.
  • Equipment operators. Many injuries result from construction equipment striking a worker. For example, a dump truck might accident dump its load on a worker, or a crane boom can strike a member of the road crew.
  • Dangerous equipment. If equipment is defective, then it can injure construction workers in work zones on the road.

Many of these same hazards can injure drivers, who might be struck by a dump truck or other piece of equipment. Drivers who have stopped at the roadwork zone can also get rear-ended by another car that is traveling too fast behind them. Furthermore, many drivers might be unable to avoid the work zone because of insufficient signage or lettering, which can contribute to a collision with barriers and large pieces of equipment.

Facts about Work Zone Accidents

A work zone accident can happen at any time. Nevertheless, according to the Federal Highway Administration, there are some common trends:

  • 85% of fatalities are drivers and passengers.
  • Of the 607 fatal crashes in 2014, lack of a seatbelt was a contributing factor in 25% of them.
  •  Speeding was a factor in 28% of fatal crashes in 2014.
  • Alcohol was a factor in another quarter of fatal crashes.
  • About 40,000 people a year are injured in roadwork zone accidents.
  • In 2013, 41% of crashes were rear-ended collisions.
  • About 65% of crashes in roadwork zones happen during the day, with the remainder at night.
  • Fatal crashes are more likely from May to September.
  • Fatal crashes occur more often on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, less so on the weekends.

To improve driver safety, the FHWA has recommended that drivers commit to focusing on driving so that they can see roadwork zones in the distance. Keeping your eyes glued to the road can increase safety. Common distractions to avoid include looking at your phone, changing the radio station, adjusting the heat, or trying to find something in the glove compartment box.

Drivers should also keep their eyes open for signs that they are approaching a roadwork zone. For example, drivers up ahead might have their brake lights on. You should change lanes safely, well in advance of actually reaching the lane closure. Failure to change lanes quickly can lead to bottlenecks and angry drivers, which only increases the likelihood of a collision.

Drivers should also remain vigilant and expect that workers and vehicles could suddenly enter their lane without any warning. Vehicles also might suddenly stop or change directions. Ideally, you can decrease your chances of a collision by giving yourself an ample cushion between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

Types of Accident Compensation

If you are successful in a lawsuit or settlement, you can receive money damages for a variety of losses, including the following:

  • Medical expenses, such as surgery, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, rehabilitation, and equipment
  • Lost wages, if you could not return to work as you recovered
  • Future lost wages; if your injuries are so severe you cannot return to your old job
  • Property damage, such as damage to your car
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

Some of these damages are easy to calculate, whereas others require a lawyer’s considerable experience in personal injury law. For example, you can calculate medical expenses by looking at all of your medical bills. However, loss of consortium, which means negative changes to your marriage, is an intangible injury which is harder to quantify.

To gain a better understanding of the type of compensation you might receive, schedule an appointment with an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

How a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

Here are some of the ways that a lawyer can help you if you've been injured in an accident:

  • A lawyer can find evidence to strengthen your case. You don't qualify for compensation simply because you are injured. Instead, you must have suffered an injury because of someone else's fault. A lawyer can help you identify and collect the evidence you need.
  • A lawyer can protect your rights. Georgia’s statute of limitations gives victims only two years from the date of the collision to file a complaint in court. If you are rapidly approaching your deadline, a lawyer can help file the suit for you.
  • An attorney can negotiate with insurance adjusters. Insurers typically try to settle cases quickly and for pennies on the dollar. A lawyer can properly calculate the monetary value of your claim and fight to get the most compensation available.
  • A lawyer can take your case all the way to trial. If needed, an experienced car accident lawyer can present evidence in a compelling way to judge and jury.

Although many people think they can handle this situation themselves, they quickly feel overwhelmed by the entire process. Deadlines, court rules, and the details of civil discovery quickly lead them to feel unprepared. For this reason, it is advisable to hire a Georgia work zone accident attorney.

Have you Been Injured? Contact a Georgia Work Zone Accident Lawyer Today

Injured victims are not expected to do all of the legwork to receive financial compensation for their injuries. Instead, they can hire an experienced attorney who will advocate on their behalf. If you have been injured in a roadwork zone accident, legal help is available. At Slappey & Sadd, our Georgia car accident lawyers will work to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Please call us today at 404-255-6677 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.