As a South Florida personal injury lawyer, I consistently find in my practice that construction workers are frequently injured from car accidents. Specifically, cars travelling too fast through a construction zone often strike and severely injure workers. This was most likely the case when a Texas Concrete and Asphalt worker was killed late last Wednesday night after being hit by a car while working on a construction site on Interstate-10 in West El Paso, Texas.
Upon hearing of this tragedy, the construction worker’s employer had conveyed messages to the public that those driving through construction sites and/or construction work zones must exercise caution and drive slowly. Additionally, of utmost importance is for drivers to adhere to traffic control warning signs, as well as construction workers directing traffic through a construction site.
When tragedy strikes, such as the car accident mentioned above, the first one to blame is often the driver of the car. Not to say that the driver does not bear most of the liability for injuring a construction worker, but the driver is not the only one to blame.
In many cases that I handle involving construction workers injured from car accidents, the construction company is to blame as well. But the construction company was not the one driving the car — how can you possibly blame them?
For construction projects that are ongoing for a long period of time where it is not feasible to close down an entire roadway, traffic must be able to ambulate through the construction site while work is being performed. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the construction company in charge of the project to ensure that certain engineering plans are in place, and properly implemented, so that the safety of the construction workers is preserved.
In the construction industry, these plans are known as Traffic Control Plans or Maintenance of Traffic Plans. When tragedy strikes at a construction site, and a construction worker is injured as a result of a car accident, one of the first places you want to inspect is the Traffic Control Plan for the project. The Traffic Control Plan sets forth procedures that enable traffic to flow through a dangerous construction site. Often times, the plan utilizes detours, signage, and even construction workers or public officials to guide traffic through construction zones. So, when you are traveling through a construction zone and notice detour signs — now you know that the detours are there by virtue of a Traffic Control Plan for that particular construction project.
However, in many construction site injury cases that I litigate, injuries often occur because of two main reasons: (1) a Traffic Control Plan was in place, but was not followed by the construction company; or (2) a Traffic Control Plan was in place, was followed by the construction company, but the plan was deficient for a variety of reasons — thus causing injury. Ultimately, the construction company has a responsibility to provide for the safety of its construction workers while cars are traveling through the site.
Now, under most circumstances, the key person to blame for a car accident occurring in a construction site is the driver of the vehicle. As mentioned above, the construction company operating the construction site may certainly be liable as well. In many construction site injury cases, the more digging you do, and the more you inspect the records and plans pertaining to the construction project, the more likely it is that you may just find that the construction company was operating a dangerous construction site. Simply stated, the operation of a dangerous construction site leads to injuries to construction workers.
If you or someone you know was injured, please contact us today so that you get the help and proper representation that you deserve.
By: Brandon Stein