Morrin Law Office
Louisville Construction Zone Vehicular Accident Attorney
When the roads of Kentucky need maintenance or upgrade, a construction work zone is put into place. This is a specified area where roadwork takes place, often involving lane closures, detours, and moving equipment.
While these zones are temporarily set up to ensure and enhance safety, the reality is that it can create a dangerous environment for both workers and drivers. The continuous changes in traffic patterns or reduced speed that often occur with construction zones create threatening scenarios that can result in car accidents. In the worst of scenarios, these crashes can lead to severe injury or even fatalities.
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a Louisville car accident that was caused by a construction work zone, consider consulting a personal injury attorney. Morrin Law Firm can represent your case and help you win compensation to get your life back on track.
What is a Construction Zone Accident?
A construction zone, or work zone, is defined as a site for maintenance or construction that takes place temporarily along highways, roads, and streets. Construction work zones are set up for reasons such as repairing potholes, stripping pavement, or installing a new road.
In most cases, work zones will have cones, barriers, shadow vehicles, flashing lights, warning signs, or barrels surrounding the site to indicate their location to drivers. However, this is not always the case. If drivers cannot see the extent of the work zone site, or if the zone site workers are negligent in their conduct, an accident can occur.
These types of collisions are especially dangerous. That’s because construction zones often have large machinery that poses a danger to drivers. Additionally, construction zone employees are in danger of significant injury or even death if a negligent driver hits them.
The following provides example scenarios of different construction zone accidents:
- Rear-end collision – A driver is following too close to another vehicle in a specified construction work zone. As the front vehicle slows down due to the changing traffic patterns, the driver behind them doesn’t have any reaction time and ends up colliding with the front driver’s rear-end and causes them to crash in the work zone.
- Side-swipe collision – When two highway lanes merge into one in a construction zone and a driver doesn’t pay attention to the signage indicating the lane merging, it causes them to hit the side of another vehicle.
- Collision with construction equipment – A large construction vehicle starts to back up without another worker spotting them, and without any indication to other drivers on the road. A passenger car driving past the work zone collides with the construction vehicle.
- Hit from falling construction debris – A passenger car driving through a construction work zone is struck by a piece of debris or machinery that was not stored or maintained properly from the work site.
- Collision caused by lack of signage – A construction work zone is not properly marked with warning signs or lights and a driver does not notice the change in road conditions, causing a collision.
- Collision involving construction zone worker – A worker at a construction zone steps out into the road without noticing oncoming traffic and is struck by a passenger vehicle.
According to Kentucky’s Department of Transportation, the most common type of crash in a construction work zone is a rear-end collision.
Statistics on Construction Zone Accidents in Kentucky
The Transportation Cabinet in Kentucky provides information relating to construction zone vehicle wrecks in the state. The following list highlights crashes, injuries, and fatalities caused by construction zone accidents in Kentucky from 2018-2022:
Safety Measures for Kentucky Construction Zones
According to a guide by the Kentucky Transportation Center, the primary function of temporary traffic control in a construction work zone is to provide the safe and efficient movement of motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians through or around the specified zones, while reasonably protecting both the workers and the equipment.
The national standard for all traffic control devices used for construction, maintenance, and utility activities are provided in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). The Kentucky General Assembly has adopted these standards for signs and markings under KRS 189.337, which covers the following key points:
- Official traffic control devices – Refers to all signs, signals, markings, and devices that are put up by a public body or official with authority to do so. The purpose of these devices is to regulate, warn, or divide traffic;
- Uniform System – The Department of Highways holds the responsibility of creating and adopting a manual of standards and specifications. The manual is meant to provide a uniform system for traffic control devices to be used on all roads and streets that are open to the public;
- Conforming to the Manual – Any traffic control devices installed after the manual has been adopted must follow the rules in the manual. Devices that were in use before the manual was adopted can still be used, but devices that are replaced or revised must follow the rules in the manual;
- Prohibited Acts – No person is allowed to put up, maintain, or display any sign, signal, marking, or device that looks or pretends to be an official traffic control device or signal.
- Prohibited Interference – No person is allowed to alter, twist, deface, injure, knock down, or interfere in any way with the operation of any official traffic control device or signal.
Who is Liable for a Construction Zone Accident?
If you’ve just been in a car accident in Louisville, Kentucky that involved the presence of a construction work zone, you may be wondering: who is at fault?
In these cases, depending on the circumstances surrounding the collision, the liability can fall on the driver of another vehicle, an employee who worked at the construction zone, the construction company that set up the work zone, the local or state agency that requested the work zone, or you.
It is important to establish fault and liability if you are seeking to file a personal injury claim in Kentucky. Depending on who was liable, there may be distinct types of documentation or evidence required to help prove fault.
Contact a personal injury attorney with Morrin Law to receive a risk-free evaluation of your case.
Compensation for Construction Zone Accidents
It is important for individuals injured in a car accident to receive compensation for any injuries caused by another person or entity’s negligence.
The good news is that even if you are partially to blame for the collision, you can still be entitled to compensation. Kentucky works on a pure comparative fault law that applies in scenarios where both parties are at fault. The compensation each party would receive would then be reduced by their percentage of fault in the collision. However, the exception to this rule is for injured drivers who are attempting to sue the at-fault driver. Under Ky. Rev. Stat. § 304.39-060, a person must have exceeded their Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage and meet at least one of the following conditions:
- Obtain medical bills/expenses relating to the injury over $1,000;
- Suffer from broken bones;
- Suffer from permanent disfigurement; or
- Suffer permanent injury or death.
If you plan to file a personal injury claim for your construction zone accident injuries, you may be able to receive compensation for any of the following damages:
- Hospital bills or related health expenses relating to the injury;
- Projected future medical expenses;
- Loss of income;
- Property damage;
- Loss of quality of life; and/or
- Pain and suffering.
A personal injury attorney with Morrin Law can provide you with helpful insight throughout this time and help you prepare for filing the claim.
Example Louisville Case
May 2023 – A man from Louisville was involved in a fatal accident in Henry County after failing to slow with traffic due to a construction zone. According to the local report, Daniel Sears was driving southbound on Interstate 71 (I-71) around 2:30pm on May 25th, 2023.
Sears struck a box truck that was slowing due to ongoing construction on the road. After Sears collided into the box truck, his car continued to travel until it hit a tractor trailer from its rear. Sears was announced dead at the scene by the Henry County Coroner. No other injuries were reported from either of the other vehicles.
Tips on Filing a Personal Injury Claim in Kentucky
It’s important that you feel prepared to file a personal injury claim. Some helpful steps that may help guide you along the way include:
- Receive the document or written accident report from the police officer who responded to your collision. Their detailed report should help build your personal injury case by identifying who was at fault. If you did not have a police officer respond to your accident, you can fill out a civilian collision report here.
- Collect the necessary evidence to build your claim, including medical records that outline the extent of your injuries, images, or videos from the accident scene to outline any initial property damage, or any witness statements that could be helpful to your claim.
- Contact one of Morrin Law’s personal injury attorneys to ensure that you have an experienced professional who is knowledgeable regarding Kentucky’s legal landscape. We aim to give you the best possible outcome for your case.
- Make sure to file in a timely manner! Our firm highlights Kentucky’s Statute of Limitations to all our clients. It is important that you are aware of the two-year time limit to file a personal injury claim involving a motor vehicle collision. We stress that it is always better to file as soon as you can. Failure to file on time can result in losing important evidence or the ability to be awarded the compensation your injuries need.
While this can seem overwhelming, the good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone! When you hire an attorney through Morrin Law Firm, we will help you with every step along the way.
Contact Morrin Law Firm
Being injured in a car accident is already stressful enough. While you focus on regaining your health and well-being, the last thing on your mind should be dealing with Kentucky’s laws regarding personal injury claims. The benefit of hiring a Louisville personal injury attorney who can manage the legal nuances of an injury claim is ten-fold. If you choose to work with Morrin Law, our attorneys will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve, and that your injuries need. We work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you do!
Contact our office today at (859) 358-0300 to receive a free case evaluation and to get started on your claim.