West Virginia Construction Zone Traffic Accident Lawyers
The Spring and Summer months bring with them the regular irritation of traffic slowdowns and delays due to constant construction work on West Virginia highways and freeways. We all want wider lanes and pothole-free roads, and yet we all groan when our trips are delayed because of the need to drive slowly through construction zones. But these work zones are a necessity, and West Virginia drivers must be careful and vigilant when passing through them.
Distracted, impaired, or otherwise negligent drivers pose a serious danger to construction workers, equipment, and other drivers if they do not take heed of the orange cones and warning signs and instead plow recklessly through congested construction zones. Drivers often cause rear-end collisions and multiple-car pileups when they drive at regular speed through construction zones or otherwise ignore the warning signs, and construction workers are directly exposed to any negligent driver mistakes.
Whether you are a construction worker hit by a speeding car or another driver smashed into by a negligent motorist, the dedicated Martinsburg car accident lawyers at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson are ready to get you the compensation you deserve after your West Virginia traffic accident.
Work Zones have a disproportionate rate of traffic accidents
According to the Federal Highway Administration, a work zone accident happens every 5.4 minutes on average. There are nearly 100,000 construction zone crashes every year on U.S. roadways, injuring over 20,000 workers. Around 119 construction workers suffer fatal injury in these accidents each year. In West Virginia, according to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, over the past five years there were 1,794 crashes reported in work zones, leading to 509 injuries, 1,270 reports of personal property damage, and 15 people killed.
Suing negligent drivers in West Virginia
West Virginia law punishes drivers who act recklessly while driving in a construction zone. West Virginia Code section 17-C-3-4b makes it a misdemeanor to speed through a work zone, punishable by a $200 fine and jail time. Drivers can also be charged with reckless driving or driving under the influence, according to the circumstances of the incident. But these criminal cases do not typically offer compensation for victims injured by reckless drivers in construction zones. Our personal injury attorneys can ensure that a negligent or reckless driver who injures you or your loved one is not only held responsible, but also that your medical bills and other damages are covered by the driver at fault.
If you are a construction worker injured in a work zone traffic accident, you may be entitled to compensation from both the reckless driver and your employer. While the negligent driver may be the person who directly hit you, your employer is responsible for maintaining a safe work zone and mitigating the risk of work zone accidents. If your employer is not implementing and enforcing proper safety protocols, they may be partially liable for your injury and other damages, even if they were not the person driving the car through the construction zone. The seasoned and knowledgeable car accident lawyers at Burke, Shultz, Harman & Jenkinson will investigate your claim following an accident and determine whether your employer and your work zone were meeting all appropriate safety standards and, if not, whether your employer is therefore liable for your injury. Your employer’s duties include:
- Slowing or re-routing motorists traveling through the construction zone
- Installing lateral buffer zones, barriers, and warnings telegraphing your presence to drivers, and protecting you from those drivers
- Properly maintaining all work vehicles and equipment
- Utilizing properly trained and competent flaggers to redirect traffic
- Using appropriate illumination for nighttime projects and inclement weather
- Providing apparel and safety equipment that is highly visible to everyone else on the roadways
If your employer does not live up to these standards, we will ensure that you are compensated for your injuries, your lost wages, your pain and suffering, and any other damages that result from your work zone accident.
Experienced Martinsburg Personal Injury Attorneys Here to Help
For professional and dedicated legal assistance after a West Virginia construction zone car accident, contact the Martinsburg personal injury lawyers at Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson for a free consultation at 304-263-0900 or (304) LAWYERS.