Who is at Fault When Road Construction Causes an Accident?
With roads and highways throughout the Houston area in a perpetual state of development and repair, driving through construction zones is an everyday occurrence for many local residents. While cones and road signs caution drivers to move over and slow down, many people still choose to drive recklessly in areas congested by construction, and truck drivers are no exception.
But, negligent driving is not the only issue that can lead to accidents in construction zones. In fact, there are numerous other factors that can cause dangerous accidents as well. So, how do you know who to blame if you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident in a construction zone? It depends on the specific facts and circumstances involved.
Proving Liability for Truck Accidents in Construction Zones
1. The Trucking Company
Despite the numerous factors that can cause accidents in construction zones, when a commercial truck is involved, one of the first issues to examine continues to be truck driver negligence. From driving drunk to texting and falling asleep behind the wheel, there is an almost-endless list of truck driving errors that can lead to serious and fatal accidents. When truck drivers are to blame for injurious collisions, the trucking companies that employ them will usually hold financial responsibility. In many – if not most – accident cases involving 18-wheelers and tractor trailers, the trucking company will share at least partial liability for the victims’ losses.
2. The Road or Highway Authority
If an issue with the construction zone itself causes an accident, the road or highway authority responsible for the road may be liable. While claims against government agencies are subject to special conditions and requirements, individuals who have been injured and lost loved ones due to government negligence are still entitled to just compensation for their medical bills, funeral expenses and other damages.
3. A Private Construction Contractor
In many cases, government agencies hire private contractors to perform road construction. If a private contractor failed to provide adequate warning of a construction zone, left debris in the roadway or made any other mistake that caused your collision, you may be entitled to full compensation from the contractor for your accident-related losses.
4. A Manufacturer
A fourth option in construction zone accident cases is that a manufacturer is liable for the victims’ physical, financial and emotional harm. This could include a manufacturer of:
- A vehicle
- A vehicle part or component
- A piece of heavy construction equipment
- Construction or road material
- Signage or tools used in the construction zone
All types of defective products have the potential to cause serious accidents and injuries, and when the evidence does not point to other factors it is important to consider the possibility of filing a claim for product liability.
Speak with a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer in Confidence
If you would like more information about seeking compensation for a truck accident in a construction zone, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with a lawyer at our law offices in Houston, please call (800) 489-2216 or request an appointment online today.