There were almost 160,000 car accidents in Alabama in 2019. Over 3,000 of those accidents were in construction zones.
All car accidents can be life-threatening. Road construction accidents can be especially dangerous because of road barriers, reduced lane spaces, uneven road surfaces, and construction personnel.
If you’ve been in a road construction accident, you need to know what to do. It is critical that you take action to protect your legal rights and ensure the safety of others.
By taking the following steps, you can help protect your well-being and preserve your legal options.
Furthermore, making the right choices after a road construction accident will help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve if you decide to file a claim.
What to Do After a Road Construction Accident
Here are several essential steps to take after a construction zone accident.
Get You and Your Passengers Out of Danger
Before doing anything else, get everyone out to safety. Usually, this means getting to a shoulder or pulling off at the nearest exit. The last thing you want to do is cause another accident by staying in the middle of a road or highway.
Don’t Leave the Scene of the Accident
Alabama law also states that anyone involved in an accident must provide reasonable assistance to other people involved. This may include calling an ambulance or 911.
This includes your name, address, vehicle registration number, and driver’s license number.
Notify Law Enforcement
If you are involved in a construction zone accident that caused an injury or death, your best choice is to call 911 and the local police department. You can also call the local county sheriff or the Alabama state highway patrol.
Document Everything About the Accident
Do everything you can to preserve potential evidence. This includes:
- Saving any dash cam videos;
- Recording any unusual weather or environmental conditions;
- Saving all documents and physical evidence you have from the accident; and
- Photographing the scene of the accident and all vehicles involved.
Preserving evidence right after an accident will help increase the chances that you are successful if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Causes of Construction Zone Auto Accidents
There are a wide variety of unique factors that cause construction zone accidents.
In a construction zone, construction crews use various kinds of specialized vehicles and machinery that reduce visibility. On top of that, crew often carry out road construction around places with visual barriers like hills, trees, and curves.
These circumstances can create a perfect storm for car accidents. In fact, the CDC found that the movement of construction equipment within the work zone was one of the greatest construction zone hazards.
Unusual Traffic Patterns
Drivers—especially daily commuters—often drive on the same roads during roughly the same period every day. Because of that, drivers come to expect certain traffic patterns.
Construction zones change all that overnight.
In a construction zone, there’s likely to be shifting lanes, closed lane shoulders, and detours. All these factors can surprise drivers and cause road construction accidents.
Poor or Unclear Signage
Federal and Alabama law require that construction crews (or state agencies) put up road signs to ensure that drivers are aware of construction zone conditions.
Similarly, special speed limit signs put drivers on notice of construction zone speed limits. In Alabama, for example, the department of transportation is responsible for placing construction zone signs at least 100 feet before the beginning of a construction zone.
Other regulations state where other signs should be placed, what they should look like, and how many should be placed in a construction zone.
Sometimes construction companies and state agencies fail to obey these regulations. When that happens, road construction accidents follow, causing injuries, property damage, and even death.
Uneven Road Surfaces
During road construction, the old road surface is often broken up and replaced. This creates uneven or poor quality pavement at times, which can easily cause a vehicle to blow a tire, swerve, or become damaged.
Why Should I Choose the Fob James Law Firm?
Being in a road construction accident is traumatic. Yet you don’t have to deal with this challenging situation on your own. While there are other personal injury attorneys in Alabama, the Fob James Law Firm stands out from the crowd:
- We have a proven track record of obtaining outstanding results for our clients;
- We have extensive experience defending clients in personal injury cases; and
- We put our clients first, as demonstrated by our testimonials.
Even if you aren’t sure about your case, take a moment to contact us. Initial consultations are always free, so you have nothing to lose by giving us a call or email right now.