If you were hurt in a Fort Worth work zone accident, speak with an expert. Work zones have their own particular laws, regulations, and industry standards that can become an issue in a trial or settlement negotiations.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Patterson Law Group are experienced in these accidents, and we are ready to advocate for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What To Do After a Work Zone Accident?
Always ensure that you and everyone involved are safe following a crash, especially if traffic is still moving around you.
Once you are safe, start documenting. This can include:
- Record what just happened.
- Collect the contact information of witnesses.
- Ask the police to file a report and request a copy
- Take photos and videos of the site to document road conditions, weather, vehicle damage, and injuries to individuals involved.
- Contact a Fort Worth construction zone accident attorney
Additionally, there are a few things to avoid. Do not post details of the accident on social media and ensure that no one tags you. Attorneys from the opposing party may be interviewing witnesses, checking social media, and looking for evidence that may hurt your case.
Causes of Work Zone Accidents
Some of the most common causes of construction zone accidents include:
- When left in work zones or allowed to drift onto roads, construction area debris can cause tire blowouts, crack windshields, or create other hazards.
- Improper signage that does not adequately warn drivers.
- Failure to secure vehicles and other equipment.
- Unsafe equipment.
- Environmental distractions include jackhammers, construction vehicle alarms, dust, and debris.
- The poor condition of the road being repaired.
These hazards can contribute to accidents, such as:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact, or T-bone collisions.
Who is liable for work zone accidents?
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, several parties may be liable. This can include:
- A contractor or subcontractor managing a work site in an unsafe manner
- A manufacturer who produced a defective part
- Management that allows a dangerous hazard to develop.
How to prove negligence
Negligence is proven by a logical formula, that is, by proving duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury:
- Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, typically to act as a reasonable person under the circumstances, i.e., not be reckless.
- Breach: The defendant failed in the performance of their duty.
- Injury: A loss, such as property damage, medical bills, or physical injury, was suffered by the plaintiff; and
- Causation: The breach was the factual and proximate (or actual) cause of an injury.
Once negligence is proven, then damages will be analyzed. Texas is a “proportionate responsibility“ jurisdiction. Therefore, awards will be reduced by the amount of fault an injured party bears for the accident. Further, a party who is greater than 50% at fault cannot receive compensation. This is known as the “51% rule.”
What damages can be collected?
In road construction accidents, the damages collected are economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages can be mathematically calculated, such as medical bills, lost wages from time out of work, or a disability requiring you to take a job that pays 30% less. This can also include future expenses, such as physical therapy, mental health counseling, and other treatments to recover from an injury.
Non-economic damages are more subjective. They usually include pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of consortium. Punitive damages, also referred to as exemplary damages, serve as both a punishment for the defendant and to deter similar behavior in the future.
Is there a time limit to file a claim?
In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. If a death results from an accident, family members will have two years from the decedent’s death to file a wrongful death claim.
Contact us for a free consultation
The car accident lawyers at Patterson Law Group are knowledgeable advocates with years of experience in this highly specialized field of personal injury. We understand the subtle nuances of the industry and legal standards from years of practice and can provide vital context for your case. Contact us for a free consultation, and because we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees.