Work Zone Accidents
Unfortunately, accidents in work zones are far too common. Of course, if a road is dangerous, it needs to be fixed to make sure it is in a safe condition. While construction is necessary to maintain roads, construction sites can often be dangerous and cause accidents. If you’ve suffered an injury in a work zone accident in Illinois, you can discuss your situation with a diligent Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident attorney. We understand the complexities of Illinois laws dealing with responsibility for injuries in work zones. We can help you identify the responsible parties and take legal action accordingly.Work Zone Hazards
Under Illinois law, drivers should be cautious and obey slower speed limits in construction zones. Not only can these zones be very congested, but workers may be especially close to moving vehicles, posing a serious hazard. Other dangers in work zones may include: misplaced signs or cones, poor lighting, misplaced barrels, heavy machinery, and debris.
Work zone accidents are a more common occurrence than you may realize. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that, on average, almost 600 work zone fatalities take place every year across the United States. Interestingly, approximately 85 percent of those who are killed are motorists, not workers. The Illinois Department of Transportation estimates that between 2010 and 2014, there were an average of 4,500 work zone crashes each year causing an average of 1,100 injuries and 27 deaths per year.Filing a Lawsuit Following a Work Zone Accident
Work zones in Illinois must comply with federal and state safety regulations. Government entities, construction companies, and road crews have an obligation to make work zones safe and to warn motorists of any hazards that may exist. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, issued by the Federal Highway Administration, outlines how signs, cones, and flashers should be used to avoid work zone accidents. If these guidelines are violated and an accident results, the responsible construction company may be liable for the resulting harm.
Even if the construction company follows all work zone guidelines appropriately, accidents can still happen due to driver negligence. Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel that results in harm to another. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent driver would drive in a comparable situation. For example, many collisions are the result of speeding in work zones and drivers not paying attention to the road. In order to win a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the following: i) the defendant owed plaintiff a duty of care; ii) the defendant breached that duty of care; and iii) the work zone accident and plaintiff’s bodily harm and/or property loss were a direct result of the defendant’s breach. Each of these elements must be shown before any compensation can be obtained. A knowledgeable injury lawyer can determine whether the facts of your case may fulfill these elements.Statute of Limitations in Work Zone Accident Cases
Whether you were injured because of a driver error or negligence on the part of a construction company or government entity, you must act quickly. In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. This time limit is shorter when you are suing the government. For injury claims against a city or county, you have one year to file a lawsuit. The time frame to sue the state is two years but you are required to file a formal claim within one year in order to sue.Seasoned Schaumburg and Wheaton Attorneys for Injured Motorists
Illinois is no stranger to construction. In an effort to speed up completion timelines, road construction is often performed at night, in the rain, or other less-than-ideal conditions. If you have been injured in a work zone accident, you can consult an experienced Schaumburg or Wheaton lawyer to conduct a proper investigation of your case. We can help you prove who was at fault in your accident and help you seek the compensation you may deserve. We serve clients from Norwood Park, Edison Park, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Harwood Heights, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Rosemont, and Mt. Prospect. For a free consultation, please call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.