If you’ve been involved in a car accident, then there are things you should know about how to get damages and what to expect when you file a lawsuit or an insurance claim. If your accident happened in a work zone, then there are additional considerations, especially if you were hit by a car while working in a roadside work zone.
For drivers involved in work zone car accidents, it is possible that interference from the construction crew or the company they work for might have contributed to the accident. Especially with dangers left on the road or inattentive flaggers, work zones can become hazards for drivers. For workers hit in work zones, the accident could be the driver’s fault. However, it is possible the construction firm in charge of the site could have contributed to the accident by failing to erect proper safety barriers.
If you were hurt in a car accident in a work zone, call our Maryland car accident attorneys from Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.
What to Know for Drivers Injured in Construction Zone Crashes in Maryland
If you were injured while driving or riding in a car in a construction zone, it is important to take the construction zone and the state of the road into consideration. Drivers could be injured from another driver’s mistakes – such as speeding and drunk driving – and the fact that the crash happened in a work zone might not have played a part in the accident at all. But if it did, you could be entitled to sue other parties for the crash as well.
The construction firm in charge of the work zone could be on the hook for damages if their workers or the unsafe conditions of the work zone contributed to the accident. Their actions must be considered unreasonable or objectively unsafe to be considered for partial fault.
For example, if the construction zone was too narrow and was still treated as two lanes, that could be the construction firm’s fault. Additionally, they might have left dangerous building materials in the roadway or failed to properly cap or cover open holes with steel plates at the end of a workday. Other dangers could also include debris – like nails or screws – left in the roadway. If these caused a tire blowout, that could have contributed to the crash.
Even if you were hit by another driver, the condition of the roadway in the construction zone might have contributed to the accident. When that happens, you could be entitled to partial damages from the at-fault driver and partial damages from the construction firm. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers can help you determine what parties are at fault and how much in damages you should claim from each party.
Suing for Injuries to Construction Workers Hit by Cars in Work Zones in Maryland
Under Maryland law, construction workers injured on the job might not be able to sue their employer for injuries. Workers’ Compensation rules often require workers injured in a work-related accident to file with insurance instead of suing their employer. However, there are no restrictions on suing other parties, which can open up lawsuits against the driver who hit you. If you were not an employee but an independent contractor hired to work on the job site, you might also be able to sue the construction firm in charge of the work zone.
Suing Your Employer
As mentioned, suits against an employer for an accident in a construction work zone are often barred. However, you could be entitled to sue if they were not actually your “employer” but rather a client. You can also look to sue other parties. If you are able to sue, you might be able to get compensation that Workers’ Compensation insurance usually does not cover, such as pain and suffering damages.
Suing a Driver
The driver who hit you could be on the hook for damages in a lawsuit. Even though you were injured at work doing things that were part of your job duties, no rules prevent you from suing someone who is not your employer for damages. That means you could be entitled to sue the driver who hit you and recover full compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering from them and their insurance company.
However, your employer might have contributed to the accident. The driver could claim that the employer was partially at fault if there were insufficient safety protocols in place on your work site, such as missing safety barriers. If that happens, the driver’s liability could be reduced, and the rest of the liability cannot be assigned to your employer because you are blocked from suing them. This might reduce your overall damages, but fortunately your Workers’ Compensation coverage will still pay for some coverage.
Apportioning fault this way is often confusing, especially when one potential party is blocked from being held liable in court. Nonetheless, our Rockville car accident lawyers can look at the crash and help you figure out which parties to sue.
Damages for Car Accidents in Work Zones in Maryland
Most car accident cases involve damages for medical bills and other expenses brought on by the accident; lost wages and other money you miss out on because of your injuries; and pain and suffering damages to reimburse you for the physical, mental, and emotional harm of the accident. You could also be entitled to compensation for vehicle repairs or other property damage.
Call Our Maryland Car Accident Lawyers Today
If you were hurt in a crash, call (410) 694-7291 to speak with Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ Baltimore car accident attorneys in a free case review.