Arizona’s Road Construction Projects Create Dangerous Driving Conditions

Road construction zones often present shifting traffic patterns and uneven surfaces for car and truck drivers to navigate. Often, there is little notice of these dangerous conditions. On an average day, 11 automobile accidents take place in Arizona road construction zones. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), these accidents have accounted for over 80 deaths and more than 11,000 injuries in the past five years. Drivers and their passengers account for the vast majority of the people hurt in these accidents.

Car Accidents in Construction Zones

Construction zones are a common sight on Arizona roads these days. Many major construction projects, such as those currently underway on Interstates 10 and 17, Highway 93 and State Routes 92 and 179, are expected to extend to late 2009 or 2010. These projects cause general upheaval that can result in hazardous road conditions, including:

• Poorly marked or unmarked construction areas
• Improperly installed or missing guardrails
• Inadequate lighting
• Uneven road surfaces
• Potholes
• Gravel and debris on the road
• Sudden lane restrictions
• Unexpected traffic congestion
• Sudden speed limit changes

In combination with the disruption of normal traffic patterns, these kinds of conditions frequently turn road construction zones into the sites of serious auto accidents.

Studies conducted by the Arizona DOT report that the most common type of road construction zone crash is a rear-end collision. This type of crash accounts for approximately half of all accidents. Many collisions also involve fixed objects, such as barriers and stationary construction equipment.

Common injuries in car crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Death can also occur, and fatal accidents are often the result of single vehicle crashes.

Legal Issues to Consider

Several important factors affect the legal claims of those injured in vehicle accidents in road construction zones. Carefully documenting the conditions that led to an accident is an important first step in preparing for a lawsuit. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 28-650) requires that proper warning signs and barricades be maintained for the duration of all road construction. This applies to both municipal workers and private contractors. Engaging an attorney to thoroughly analyze the accident report and interview eyewitnesses is essential to preparing for a lawsuit and improving your chances of recovering fair financial compensation.

It is also vital to identify the party responsible for the accident. If the Arizona Department of Transportation or other governmental entity controlled the road construction zone when the accident occurred, certain types of legal immunity may come into play. An attorney can determine whether the state or local government can be held liable for injuries or other damages caused by their employees or contractors. Other potentially responsible parties include private contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors that were involved with performing the construction work, maintaining the road construction zone and designing the highway or bridge. Government immunity does not shield these private parties.

Timing is a third important issue. An injured party must serve a notice of a claim involving government employees or entities within 180 days of the accident (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) and file a lawsuit within one year (A.R.S. § 12-821). Claims against other parties must be made within two years. Accident report analyses and interviews can be time-consuming, and delays, especially in the time period immediately following an accident, can be costly. In general, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a road construction zone accident to ensure that your interests are protected.

Road construction zones often present shifting traffic patterns and uneven surfaces for car and truck drivers to navigate. Often, there is little notice of these dangerous conditions. On an average day, 11 automobile accidents take place in Arizona road construction zones. According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (DOT), these accidents have accounted for over 80 deaths and more than 11,000 injuries in the past five years. Drivers and their passengers account for the vast majority of the people hurt in these accidents.

Car Accidents in Construction Zones

Construction zones are a common sight on Arizona roads these days. Many major construction projects, such as those currently underway on Interstates 10 and 17, Highway 93 and State Routes 92 and 179, are expected to extend to late 2009 or 2010. These projects cause general upheaval that can result in hazardous road conditions, including:

• Poorly marked or unmarked construction areas
• Improperly installed or missing guardrails
• Inadequate lighting
• Uneven road surfaces
• Potholes
• Gravel and debris on the road
• Sudden lane restrictions
• Unexpected traffic congestion
• Sudden speed limit changes

In combination with the disruption of normal traffic patterns, these kinds of conditions frequently turn road construction zones into the sites of serious auto accidents.

Studies conducted by the Arizona DOT report that the most common type of road construction zone crash is a rear-end collision. This type of crash accounts for approximately half of all accidents. Many collisions also involve fixed objects, such as barriers and stationary construction equipment.

Common injuries in car crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries and brain damage. Death can also occur, and fatal accidents are often the result of single vehicle crashes.

Legal Issues to Consider

Several important factors affect the legal claims of those injured in vehicle accidents in road construction zones. Carefully documenting the conditions that led to an accident is an important first step in preparing for a lawsuit. Arizona law (A.R.S. § 28-650) requires that proper warning signs and barricades be maintained for the duration of all road construction. This applies to both municipal workers and private contractors. Engaging an attorney to thoroughly analyze the accident report and interview eyewitnesses is essential to preparing for a lawsuit and improving your chances of recovering fair financial compensation.

It is also vital to identify the party responsible for the accident. If the Arizona Department of Transportation or other governmental entity controlled the road construction zone when the accident occurred, certain types of legal immunity may come into play. An attorney can determine whether the state or local government can be held liable for injuries or other damages caused by their employees or contractors. Other potentially responsible parties include private contractors, subcontractors, construction companies, engineers and surveyors that were involved with performing the construction work, maintaining the road construction zone and designing the highway or bridge. Government immunity does not shield these private parties.

Timing is a third important issue. An injured party must serve a notice of a claim involving government employees or entities within 180 days of the accident (A.R.S. § 12-821.01) and file a lawsuit within one year (A.R.S. § 12-821). Claims against other parties must be made within two years. Accident report analyses and interviews can be time-consuming, and delays, especially in the time period immediately following an accident, can be costly. In general, it is best to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after a road construction zone accident to ensure that your interests are protected.

Trades In Construction – Others

Although not directly assigned for the construction industry, there are some professions that are in direct support of the construction industry. They Include;

Banking: As earlier mentioned, construction is a capital intensive affair. This means that a lot of money will be required for a short period of time. This money is almost always got in the form of mortgages, construction loans or general loans. Even when personal savings are involved, there is a great possibility that a bank will be involved as a media for savings. For this reason, banking is closely related with the construction industry and when the construction industry does well, the banks follow suit. This pivotal role means that professions in the banking industry will be put to task.

Legal services: This is especially required when land transactions like leases are to take place. It is also common in the modern forms of construction where prospective buyers purchase property on paper. This means that they pay for the product of construction long before it is put up. This requires a stringent legal undertaking and a binding engagement. Along the same line, properties with encumbrances and caveats will need the services of a legal practitioner. Legal offices are usually very busy when the construction industry is busy.

Sales and Marketing: The product of construction is usually for sale or rent. This requires a marketing campaign to ensure quick take up, thus immediate rent collection or return on investment. Where the building or space is to be sold on paper, it will definitely take a good campaign to convince prospective buyers.

Information Technology: With the proliferation of the internet and the use of the world wide web, there is a great need in the commercial sector to provide tech-savvy solutions. These range from simple structured cabling and intra-networking to complex ones like WiFi services. Being a fast evolving occupation, there are many new concepts coming up and in times to come, the IT specialist will definitely be a part of the construction process.

Surveying: Since construction is done on land, the land surveyor is required to demarcate land, establish beacons, and establish levels, both horizontal and vertical among other tasks.

Property Management: This comes in when the building is complete. It is charged with tasks like tenant search, property cleaning, repair, services provision and maintenance and rent collection.

Others include clearing and forwarding, manufacturing and procurement as pertains to construction materials and fittings. This is a good catch especially for big projects.

How to Handle Construction Site Injuries and Construction Accident Claims

Progress is inevitable. That’s why more buildings are constructed every now and then. Thus, one can easily expect the number of construction site accidents to pile up as well. Although construction sites are undoubtedly a dangerous spot, it should not be used as an excuse not to provide construction workers a kind of security and protective measure that they enormously deserve. In fact, they should be provided with more safety programs and remunerative support especially when they are implicated in any construction-related accident. A personal injury attorney will be able to help an injured construction worker in terms of pursuing a claim for any compensatory damage while at work.

One of the tangible manifestations of progress is a series of tall edifices, countless constructions of new structural units, and construction of intricately-designed buildings. However, coupled to the growing number of buildings made year after year is the increasing number of construction workers getting injured and involved in life-threatening accidents. The more intricate the design of the building is the more difficult it is to build. As a result, the propensity to get involved in an accident at the construction site also increases.

When an accident happens in a construction site, is it largely due to the worker’s carelessness? Or is it by someone else’s negligence? Who should take the responsibility for a construction site accident? Is it solely the fault of the construction worker or it may be due to the shortcoming of the owner, architect, contractor, engineer, or firm? Personal injury attorneys will be able to help in determining who is largely responsible for it. Seeking legal counsel from personal injury lawyers is essential in finding out if you are eligible for compensation. Furthermore, the legal processes may seem complex and intimidating when claiming for a compensatory pay for injuries sustained at a construction site accident. For personal injury attorneys, dealing with any legal matter is their expertise. Thus, an accident lawyer is the best person to conduct the legal aspects of it. He will also be able to duly address the claim to the liable party. For instance, the company you work should ideally cover for the damages. However, it does not happen all the time. Oftentimes, the company is unable to provide monetary assistance to injured workers right away. This is why it is important to seek the legal expertise of an accident attorney. A highly experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer can help you attain the compensation you deserve as soon as possible.