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Construction Site Car Accidents

Road construction and construction projects near roadways are common sights across Maine. Inaccurate or missing signage, construction site debris, and the distraction caused by the site itself can lead to hazardous conditions for those working on-site, as well as for pedestrians or drivers passing through. These dangerous circumstances can lead to serious, injury-causing collisions.

Maine car accident attorneys in Briggs & Wholey understand the life-altering effects a vehicle collision can have. They have been helping victims of car accidents, including those involving construction sites and work zones, obtain the compensation they deserve for a combined total for nearly 30 years. At Briggs & Wholey, we will aggressively pursue all available avenues of legal relief so that you can get your life back on track after a car accident.

Work Zone Accidents Injure Thousands Each Year

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a set of “work zone facts” that reflect some of the hazards found on construction sites for workers on-site, and also for pedestrians and drivers passing through. The agency’s findings include the following statistics:

  • During peak season, approximately 1/5 of our nation’s highway system is under construction, with over 3000 work sites.
  • An estimated 12 billion vehicle miles of travel a year will be through active work zones.
  • Active work zones can be expected every 100 miles driven on the national highway system.
  • Three work zone fatalities occur per day.
  • Over 40,000 people are injured each year in work zone crashes.

OSHA requires a traffic control plan for the movement of vehicles at worksites so that drivers, workers, and pedestrians alike can see and understand the routes that need to be followed. The governmental authority in charge determines the configuration of the temporary traffic control zone for motorists and pedestrians, and the construction project manager determines the internal traffic routes on the construction site. The main traffic control devices used to communicate alternate routes are signs, traffic barriers, and flags. Proper use of all three can help ensure safe passage for those on and off the work site.

Holding Responsible Parties Accountable

Both public and private construction site hazards can lead to injuries or fatalities. Finding and holding the responsible parties accountable poses unique challenges in each type of construction site.

Government entities are responsible for interstate, state, and municipal highway construction. Oftentimes, when government entities are sued, they argue that they are immune from liability. This is based on the legal doctrine of “sovereign immunity,” which generally provides that government entities cannot and should not be sued. However, the Maine Tort Claims Act grants a specific exception for road construction, street cleaning, or repair. A government entity is liable for its negligent acts or omissions arising out of and occurring during the performance of construction, street cleaning, or repair operations on any highway, town way, sidewalk, parking area, causeway, bridge, or airport runway. This statutory exception allows anyone injured in Maine on a construction site to recover damages like lost wages and medical expenses from the government if it was negligent during the construction.

Holding those responsible for injuries related to private construction sites may require investigation into the different companies contracted to work on the project. Oftentimes sub-contractors are used to complete a specific portion of the project, and each company may have different kinds of insurance with varying amounts of coverage. Workers injured on-site in a construction site car accident may be able to recover beyond the workers’ compensation insurance from their employer if the injury was caused by the negligence of a sub-contractor or one of its workers. If a worker or passerby sues under a negligence theory, they will have to show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care, and that this caused the accident in which they were injured or a loved one was killed. Under these circumstances, the victim may be entitled to damages including the cost of medical care, lost income, and other amounts.

Experienced Representation Across Maine

If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle accident while working at or passing through a construction site or work zone, call the Maine car accident lawyers at Briggs & Wholey. We can help you develop a strategy to obtain maximum compensation from the responsible parties, and we will prepare to fully litigate your claim if necessary. To speak with one of our attorneys, contact our law office today at (888) 596-1099 or online.

Donald Briggs C. Donald Briggs, III Feb. 7, 1954 - Sept. 7, 2014 Your dedication and hard work continue...