Who Is Liable In a Washington D.C. Construction Zone Accident?

It can be harrowing to be involved in a construction zone accident. There could be a variety of very intimidating heavy machinery involved, and you may suffer extensive physical and emotional distress from the encounter. You may be wondering if you can recover damages from your accident.

What Qualifies as a Construction Zone?

It is important to understand the manner in which Washington D.C. defines a construction zone. A construction zone is an area of the road where maintenance is being conducted. Typically, there will be signs or other indicators showing drivers and pedestrians where there is a construction zone.  

Who is Liable in an Accident?

Liability can be difficult to determine in a construction zone accident. There are a multitude of factors that may contribute to liability. One such factor is the Move Over Law, which is implemented in all 50 states and Washington D.C. As a driver, you must “move over” if there is someone or something on the side of the road. “Moving over” typically means driving into a different lane, but if that is not possible, you must at least slow down.

How Can You Determine Fault?

Keeping this in mind, there are a variety of situations in which a construction company or a driver may be at fault. A construction company could be deemed at fault if they have not created a zone that minimizes the risk of danger and sufficiently warns drivers and pedestrians of potential dangers, many of which can result in a workplace death on Washington D.C. construction sites. This could include improper design of the construction zone and route, poor maintenance of the construction route, a lack of adequate warning signs, and poor placement of signs, barricades, cones, or barriers that result in a driver being unable to drive through temporary lanes. 

Drivers may be at fault in instances where they hit a warning sign or construction equipment, if they rear-end another motorist who slowed down or stopped correctly, or they did not pay attention to the warning signs and caused an accident with someone who was following the stated rules.

Regardless of the situation, police must be called to a construction zone accident. They can collect evidence, gather witness testimony, and report the details of the accident. They may be able to assist in determining fault as well. If you wish to sue, a lawyer can also compile evidence and prove fault.

What Damages Can You Receive?

Washington D.C. uses contributory negligence. Therefore, an individual can still recover damages if they were partially at fault for the accident. An individual can receive economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages can include past, present, and future medical expenses and past, present, and future lost wages as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering caused by the accident. Some individuals may be able to recover punitive damages, which are awarded to punish and deter the defendant’s behavior.

An experienced Washington D.C. construction accident lawyer can help you navigate a lawsuit for a construction zone accident. Do not hesitate to contact an attorney for a consultation so you can receive the compensation you need and deserve.