If you have been injured in a road construction accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call The Fang Law Firm to schedule a consultation. Our Denver road construction accident attorneys can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.
With detours, fewer lanes, and lower speed limits, construction zones can cause traffic congestion and driver frustration. They can also be hazardous areas for both motorists where a traffic crash is more likely to occur.
It is not always clear who is at fault for a traffic crash in a construction zone. This is why it is important to speak with an experienced Denver road construction accident lawyer after a road construction accident. Our Denver car accident lawyers can thoroughly investigate your accident and identify the responsible parties. We can collect and preserve evidence, individually tailor your case to suit your needs, negotiate skillfully on your behalf, and fight for your rights in court, if necessary.
If you get injured in an accident in a construction zone in Colorado, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The state’s fault-based car insurance system allows crash victims to hold at-fault drivers or parties responsible. This means you could file a claim or lawsuit against the driver, company or another party for causing your crash. If you or your Denver road construction accident attorney can prove that the defendant(s) is responsible for your construction zone accident, you could receive financial reimbursement for various damages.
A successful settlement or judgment award could lead to financial compensation for the following types of losses:
The value of your claim will depend on its specific factors. Case values are often determined based on the severity of the victim’s injury, for example. A more severe injury can lead to a higher settlement value due to more expensive medical care and a longer recovery time. It is important to discuss the potential value of your case with an attorney before accepting a fast insurance settlement. While an insurance company may try to take advantage of you, a lawyer will accurately evaluate your claim.
Yes, you can still recover compensation if you were partly at fault for a construction zone accident. Colorado is a comparative negligence state, meaning it has a rule that allows a victim to collect financial compensation as long as he or she is found to be less than 51 percent at fault for the accident (the majority share).
With less than 51 percent of the blame, you could collect partial compensation from the other party or parties that are being held liable. However, your percentage of fault can affect your financial recovery. The courts will reduce your compensatory award by a percentage that matches your degree of fault.
For example, if you are found to be 20 percent responsible for the crash, your award would be reduced by an equivalent 20 percent. In this example, the comparative negligence rule would bring a $100,000 settlement down to $80,000. If you are found to be 51 percent or more to blame, however, your recovery would drop to $0. This is why it is important to hire a Denver road construction accident lawyer to help you defend yourself against a comparative negligence allegation.
In Colorado, a law known as the statute of limitations places a deadline on a car accident victim’s ability to file a related personal injury or property damage claim. In general, this time limit is three years from the date of the crash. The state’s deadline for a car accident claim is one year longer than the general personal injury statute of limitations, which is two years.
However, there are some exceptions to the rule. If the victim is a minor under the age of 18, he or she will have three years from the date the victim turns 18 (his or her 21st birthday). If the victim does not discover his or her injury right away, this could also extend the statute of limitations. The clock won’t start ticking until the date the victim discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury.
You must contact an attorney as soon as possible after a road construction accident to avoid missing your deadline. Attempting to file after the statute of limitations has expired will typically lead to your claim getting denied.
Road construction zones are often created to repair an existing road defect, such as potholes, poor drainage, road debris, defective lighting or traffic signals, or poor road designs. These defects can make the road unnecessarily dangerous for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. While construction is necessary to make safety improvements, unfortunately, road construction sites can prove more dangerous for drivers while the work is being completed.
Traffic crashes occur more frequently in construction zones because of the additional hazards a work zone creates. Construction zone accidents may be caused by hazardous conditions, such as:
These road and environment conditions can confuse drivers and increase the risk of a car accident. Yet motor vehicle drivers are not the only ones at risk. Construction workers and contractors can also suffer serious injuries if they get hit by a driver. Work zone accidents may also be caused by negligent driving behavior that may include:
According to data from the Bureau of Transportation, there were 135 worker fatalities in highway work zones in 2019. If a driver causes a construction zone accident, he or she can be held responsible for a construction worker’s injury or death.
When people are injured in road construction accidents, determining liability can be a challenge. There may be several potentially liable parties. This is a necessary step under Colorado’s fault-based insurance system, however. You cannot file a car insurance claim until you or your attorney identifies who is at fault for the crash.
Liable parties can include:
Road construction companies have a duty to make construction sites safe, not create dangerous conditions and warn of any existing hazards. When they fail in that duty, they may be liable for accidents and injuries caused by their negligence.
If a negligent driver caused the accident, he or she may be liable for your injuries. This may be the case if another driver rear-ends you, merges on top of you, enters your lane without the right-of-way, drives the wrong way or commits another error.
If a piece of construction equipment malfunctioned and caused your road construction accident, you may be able to hold the manufacturer liable. Examples include crane collapses, forklift rollovers and malfunctioning traffic control devices.
In some cases, liability for a construction zone accident may be shared among multiple parties. Naming more than one party as a defendant in your lawsuit could lead to greater financial compensation available to cover your losses. Consulting with an attorney can help you determine liability for your road construction zone accident.
If your accident was caused by a road defect, you may have grounds to file a claim against the government in Colorado. This could also be a possibility if the construction zone was not properly marked or maintained, which are responsibilities held by the government agency that owns or is responsible for the public roadway.
To bring a claim against the government, you must navigate the rules of the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. This law has specific steps that must be taken by anyone who wishes to hold the state government responsible for an injury caused by negligence on the part of the agency or one of its representatives acting in the course of employment.
For example, you must file an advanced notice with the government agency no later than 180 days from the construction site accident or the discovery of your injuries. There are also special damage caps that apply to claims brought against the government in Colorado, meaning the amount of compensation available may be limited. For more information about how to file a claim against the government after a construction zone crash, consult with an attorney.
Although the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming, it is important to do certain things to protect your health and safety. If you get involved in a car accident in a road construction zone, there are steps you can take to immediately protect your legal rights. Try to remain calm and take the following actions:
Road construction accidents can be complex and often involve multiple parties, such as a construction company, contractors, the government and powerful insurance corporations. Seeking advice and guidance from an experienced car accident attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
As reported by the Federal Highway Administration:
If you have been seriously injured in a road construction accident, it is crucial to pursue the full compensation you are entitled to receive. It may be needed to cover your past and future medical treatment, lost wages, and other losses. Contact The Fang Law Firm as soon as possible. Our Denver road construction accident lawyers are dedicated advocates for injured people.