Who Is Liable in a Car Accident in a Work Zone in New York?
Highway and roadside construction is common throughout the State of New York. Posted signs usually require drivers to turn on their headlights and reduce speed in these work zones for the sake of everyone’s safety. Not only can work zones be tight and harder to drive in, but workers could be around, and these rules are aimed at keeping them safe, too. When accidents do happen, multiple parties could be at fault.
First, any drivers who violated traffic laws or otherwise caused the crash could be liable for their fair share of damages. Injury cases for roadside construction workers could also be filed against their employer in many cases where the employer’s negligent conduct allowed the injuries to happen and meets certain requirements. In limited cases, local city or municipal governments could also share some level of blame.
For help with your injury case, call the New York car accident injury attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm. For a free case review, call us at (718) 841-0083.
Suing a Driver for a Work Zone Car Accident in New York
Whether you were injured as a worker at a roadside work zone, a pedestrian walking through the area, or another driver going through the work zone, you could be entitled to sue the driver who hit you. In many cases, lawsuits against these drivers are limited, so it is important to work with a Florida construction accident lawyer for help on your case.
Car accidents in New York are limited under New York’s no-fault auto accident laws. These rules require you to go through your own no-fault insurance in the event of a crash unless you meet certain exceptions. If you were not driving when the accident occurred but you have auto insurance, your insurance usually can still help with your accident. However, in cases where the victim faces permanent or serious injuries, they can sue the at-fault driver instead. This opens access to additional damages, such as pain and suffering compensation.
To prove that this driver was at fault, you will have to point to something that they did wrong to cause the accident. In many work zones, this could include violations of work zone rules requiring lower speed limits and headlight use if those issues contributed to the crash. Other traffic violations, such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or failing to yield, could also be enough to consider the driver at fault.
Suing Construction Companies for Worker Injuries in Work Zones in New York
According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, about 774 roadside construction and maintenance workers lose their lives each year in work zone accidents. Controlling these zones and keeping workers safe is a huge priority for employers – but those who fail to do so can share fault for the accident.
Injured construction workers may be entitled to sue their employer for injuries under certain circumstances. In general, employers are responsible for safety and security at a job site. They must follow OSHA regulations, New York State workplace safety rules, and other reasonable standards to keep workers safe. There are certain violations of these rules and other safety rules that, if they result in injury, allow the injured worker to sue for their injuries instead of relying on workers’ compensation claims.
In cases where a driver caused the crash, they might be at fault – but injured construction workers might be entitled to include their employer in the lawsuit as well. So long as the construction worker’s case meets the standards that allow them to sue for injuries, they can hold their employer liable for the workplace safety violations that led to their injuries.
Under New York law, this may mean assigning partial fault to each at-fault party. For example, imagine a work zone accident where the only defensive barrier the employer set up alongside the roadway was a few traffic cones. Typical requirements for roadside work crew safety may require warning signs and protective barriers (called “positive protection”) to keep workers safe. If a speeding driver crashed through the line of cones and struck a worker, the driver will certainly share fault – however, the employer might also share fault for not setting up a stronger barrier to keep workers safe.
Suing City and Municipal Governments for Roadside Work Crew Car Accidents in New York
In many of these cases, the actions of private individuals and construction companies will be the primary causes of the accident. This usually means that these claims are best filed against those drivers and construction companies. However, there may be limited situations where a government entity could be liable for some share of fault in allowing the accident to happen.
Many permanent or semi-permanent roadside barriers are set up by the government rather than construction companies. These barriers might be put in place to protect roadside areas, such as sidewalks and bike lanes. If construction was taking place behind one of these barriers, it’s possible that defective or dangerous barriers could be the government’s fault.
Cases have historically been filed against the government in two situations. The first is for claims that the barrier made the driver or passenger’s injuries worse. Driving into a slab of concrete is dangerous, so if the concrete barrier was unsafe or should have been made of different material, that could be the government’s fault. The second type of claim is for barriers that fail to protect the roadside area. If the government put up these barriers to keep people safe, but the car merely hopped the barrier or was not slowed down, the government might have been negligent.
These cases are often complex and face additional limitations, so make sure to talk to a New York personal injury lawyer about your case.
Call Our New York Car Accident and Construction Injury Attorneys
For a free case review on your injury case, contact The Carrion Law Firm today. Our Brooklyn personal injury attorneys help injured car accident victims, injured construction workers, and other injury victims file insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits. Call today at (718) 841-0083.