Who is Liable for a Car Accident in a Construction Zone in Phoenix, AZ?
- Casey Hamm
- July 26, 2019
- Car Accidents
Construction zones in Phoenix, AZ can be a hazard to drivers. In 2015, there were more than 96,000 crashes in work zones across the country. If you went through a construction zone as you were driving, you know that it can become tricky to follow all the traffic laws while navigating detours, uneven surfaces, construction workers working close to the road, and confusing signage. It can be challenging to determine exactly who is liable for a car accident in a construction zone in Phoenix, AZ.
Can a Driver Be At Fault for a Construction Zone Car Accident?
Drivers can be distracted easily, even under the best driving conditions. A driver suddenly coming across a construction zone without being prepared for the road changes, merging lanes, workers, traffic slowing down, and machinery in their path can lead to serious accidents. Drivers can become impatient with any obstacles slowing down their drive and make hasty, and possibly dangerous decisions. Impatience can also lead to speeding in an area where you should be driving at slower speeds.
When you drive through a construction zone, there are several potential hazards to pay attention to, including:
- Workers and construction equipment: Construction zones on roads typically have workers and large machines working in close proximity to drivers.
- Merging traffic: When there are cars coming from all directions and merging into one lane in a construction zone, drivers can become confused.
- Signage: Distracted or impatient drivers may not notice important signage in the construction zone.
- Uneven or gravelly road surfaces
- Weather conditions: Inclement weather like rain and snow can make the conditions even more hazardous.
If you are partly liable for a car accident in a construction zone in Phoenix, AZ by not using the appropriate precautions or failing to pay attention to the driving conditions around you, you may be fully liable or partially liable for the accident. Working with a distracted driving car accident lawyer from Zanes Law may be a wise decision in this situation.
When is the Construction Company or Government Liable in a Construction Zone Car Accident?
If you had an accident in a construction zone, the construction company or the government may be liable for your damages if they:
- Failed to mark hazardous areas;
- Failed to create temporary lanes;
- Failed to have adequate and obvious signage to direct drivers; and,
- Failed to keep the construction zone free of potentially hazardous objects.
Comparative Negligence in Arizona
Arizona follows a “pure comparative fault” rule which describes a situation where two or more parties share responsibility for an accident. In cases such as these, the jury calculates the total amount of the compensation to be awarded in the case and the percentage of fault that belongs to each of the parties involved in the accident. The plaintiff’s compensation is then reduced by a percentage equal to his or her share of the fault. In many cases, deciding the percentage of fault in a car accident case can be complicated.
An example of this might be a driver who is found to be 35 percent at-fault for the accident that caused his injuries. If the jury awards him a total of $70,000 in damages, he will receive $45,500, which is 65 percent of the total compensation awarded.
Recoverable Damages in a Construction Zone Car Accident in Phoenix, AZ
The Arizona statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit for damages in Arizona is generally two years from the date of the accident. Filing your claim after the deadline can result in the court dismissing your case. Compensation in a car accident case can be requested for:
- Medical costs, including ambulance transport, treatment in a hospital, medications, medical devices, follow-up medical appointments, physical therapy, and long-term care.
- Property damage, including the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle.
- Rental car
- Lost wages
- Disability, including compensation for a permanent disability that renders you unable to work.
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