Truck accidents can happen anywhere, and construction zones are known to be high-risk areas for crashes. In fact, over 22,000 collisions occurred in Texas work zones, just in 2020.
In this article, Anderson & Cummings look at some reasons why collisions with trucks are so common in work zones and who can be liable for the damages.
Injured by a negligent truck driver? Not sure how to protect your legal rights or how to make sure you are fairly compensated for your damages? Our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers have decades of experience representing injured victims, including those injured in semi-truck crashes.
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Why Are Truck Crashes in Construction Zones So Common?
18-wheeler, semi-truck and other big rig crashes in construction zones are common for many reasons, but the primary cause is always negligence.
Truck Driver Negligence
While truck drivers are certainly not the only drivers to be careless or distracted behind the wheel, the impact of their negligence is greater. The size and weight of a semi-truck greatly increase the risk of catastrophic damages and life-altering injuries. Driver negligence in a construction zone truck crash is often due to:
- Following another vehicle too closely: In a construction zone, especially, traffic may need to stop suddenly, frequently and quickly. If a truck driver is tailgating a vehicle through a work zone, it could cause a severe rear-end truck collision. Road workers could also get caught up in this type of crash, suffering life-threatening or fatal injuries.
- Distracted truck driving: Not being focused on the road can be due to any number of things, such as texting or eating.
- Impaired driving: Truck drivers are more prone to falling asleep at the wheel due to the long hours on the road. However, some truck drivers may be impaired by other things, such as alcohol or drugs. Being impaired by any of these conditions could cause a trucker to miss a detour sign, construction zone warning or even a traffic flagger.
- Reckless driving: Truck drivers cutting off vehicles or weaving recklessly from one lane to another can quickly cause a crash, especially if the driver was not paying close attention to the road and also missed a construction zone road warning or detour.
- Speeding truck drivers: The trucking industry is known for putting pressure on drivers to meet unreasonable schedules, resulting in more truck drivers ignoring posted speed limits.
Construction Company Negligence
Construction companies owe a duty to consider the safety of drivers on the road, as well as flaggers and other workers. This means taking reasonable steps to maintain a safe work zone environment. Construction company negligence that could lead to a construction zone truck crash could include:
- Failing to properly place clear signage in work zone areas – confusing detour signs could easily cause a driver to go the wrong way and result in a crash.
- Neglecting to have sufficient lighting for construction work taking place at night
- Failing to properly train flaggers and other construction zone workers or provide them with proper gear
Local Government Negligence
City or state government entities or contractors in charge of overseeing road work and other construction zone projects may be negligent in this type of crash as well. For instance, if they failed to take reasonable steps to close down a roadway that was too close to a construction zone.
Any time a truck collision occurs, there may be multiple other parties who contributed to or caused the crash. For instance, if an 18-wheeler could not stop in time due to brake failure, the party responsible for maintaining the truck could be deemed negligent. Third-party vendors who loaded the truck could be considered negligent if their actions contributed to the crash in some way.
Who Can Be Liable for a Truck Crash in a Fort Worth Construction Zone?
Like any type of crash, liability must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The first step will be to assess the crash and determine how it happened. Like many truck crash cases, there could be multiple parties liable for your damages, including:
- Truck driver
- Trucking company
- Construction company
- Local government entity
- Third-party vendors
- Truck owner
- Manufacturer of the vehicle and/or mechanical parts
- And more
What If You Are Partially At-Fault for a Truck Crash in a Construction Zone?
Again, it depends on the circumstances that led to the crash. Texas follows a comparative fault system. This means that as long as you are less than 51 percent liable for your construction zone crash with a truck, you may still have a case. Remember, however, that the amount of fault you are assessed with will be deducted from any awarded compensation. So if you are 10 percent liable and awarded $100,000 in compensation, for instance, you would only receive $90,000.
What Should You Do After a Crash With an 18-Wheeler in a Construction Zone?
If you sustained injuries in a construction zone truck crash, you should seek medical attention before doing anything else. Your health and well-being should always be your top priority.
Once your injuries stabilize, we strongly recommend seeking legal help as soon as possible. Evidence can get quickly get lost if the proper legal steps are not taken.
Contact Our Truck Accident Legal Team in Fort Worth Today
At Anderson & Cummings, we have the resources and staff to handle a full investigation, gather the proper evidence needed to support your case and make sure you are not unfairly assessed with liability. We are also ready to seek all possible sources of compensation to ensure you recover full and fair compensation for your damages.
There are no upfront costs or fees if we represent you. We take truck crash cases on contingency, so we only get paid if you do.
Experienced Lawyers. Proven Results. (717) 727-1403