Who Is At-Fault for Car Accidents Near I-35 Construction Areas?
If you have been injured in a car accident that was wholly or partially the result of marked construction areas on I-35 or other Dallas, TX, highways, we want to help you get the compensation you deserve. The personal injury lawyers at Ramey Law Firm, PLLC are committed to helping you identify potential defendants. They want to represent your interests in an action to recoup compensation for injuries sustained in construction zone car accidents.
This article briefly describes the potential parties who cause work zone auto accidents, and what you can do to hold those at fault responsible. We want to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Why I-35 Accidents Are So Common
Almost half of the state's population lives near I-35, so it’s no wonder that many collisions in the Dallas area occur around the interstate. Drivers along this traffic corridor often meet road construction hazards as Texas tries to keep up with the increasing demands of commuters. Some of those hazards include:
- Concrete barriers
- Heavy equipment
- Lane modifications
- Vehicles prone to sudden stops
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 20,401 car accidents on I-35 in 2018, resulting in 153 deaths and 471 traffic injuries. In addition, there were 2,791 crashes in construction work zones on I-35, resulting in 19 deaths and 59 grave injuries.
Who Are the Potential Bad Actors?
The most common type of accident in a construction zone are rear-end collisions. This is due to vehicles that move too slowly or stop suddenly. If drivers have no warnings or badly marked road construction zones, accidents happen. Several potential parties may cause car accidents in badly marked construction areas, including:
- Local government agencies
- The Department of Transportation
- Private companies engaged to fix the roads
Areas which periodically need maintenance include potholes, guardrails, traffic signals, dangerous curves, and lanes without road lines. Surfaces may become uneven during road construction. Most dangerous of all, the road work zone may not have warning signs designating the work area or warning of the need to slow speed.
Changing the designation of traffic lanes while a road undergoes construction is another common road hazard that requires signs alerting of the dangers ahead. So, too, is the elimination of the road shoulder and the change in height of the road surface.
The municipalities or other local government agencies within the state must make the drivers aware of the hazards imposed by the construction work. Drivers must see signs indicating the area head requires them to slow down and move ahead with vigilance.
What Legal Action Can I Bring Against the Government?
Road maintenance without proper warning signs leads to accidents. If the employees of the state are at fault by poorly marking the construction areas, then you may sue the government for the employees' negligence. A finding of negligence requires evidence of four things:
- The state owed a duty of care to the injured party;
- The state breached that date of care;
- The car accident victim sustained bodily injury and/or property damage; and
- Damages ensued
What Kind of Compensation Is Possible for Claims of Negligence?
Negligence law in Texas recognizes two types of damages:
- Exemplary (punitive damages to punish the negligent action)
- Compensatory damages are the economic and non-economic costs sustained by the injured person. Compensatory damages include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Surgical costs
- Loss of income
- Physical impairment
- Pain and suffering
You will want to select an experienced personal injury attorney to assess the facts of your case and compile the evidence you need to prevail.
Moving Your Case Forward
The attorneys at the Ramey Law Firm can represent your best interests. Contact us today online or call our office in Dallas, TX, at (972) 437-5577.