Work Zone Accidents

Legal Guidance for Motor Vehicle Collision Victims in Los Angeles

California drivers frequently encounter work or construction zones on the road. The interstate highway systems and roads are routinely upgraded or expanded. There are many rules of the road that apply to construction zones, but unfortunately not everyone adheres to them. It is increasingly common for drivers to be involved in work zone collisions. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles attorneys can assist car accident victims in seeking compensation if they have been injured in a work zone due to someone else's negligence or misconduct.

Establishing Liability for a Work Zone Accident

Several laws and regulations govern work zones. Among other rules, California Vehicle Code § 21370 allows CALTRANS or its contractors and subcontractors to restrict and regulate traffic for safety purposes on the interstate highways that are being improved. These restrictions can include the redirection of traffic or reductions in speed limits. Under California Vehicle Code § 22362, it is unlawful to travel in excess of a posted sign within 400 feet of a highway work zone. The speed limit near a work zone can be set as low as 25 mph, which is the speed limit for residential neighborhood streets.

Many traffic accidents around work zones occur because of violations of these rules and the others related to construction. For example, it is not uncommon for drivers to make unsafe lane changes or speed in order to get past other vehicles when several lanes on a highway merge into one. It is also not uncommon to lose control of a vehicle while driving too fast in an area where the concrete is uneven.

In some cases, CALTRANS or another government entity is responsible for unsafe work zone conditions. For example, if a governmental entity or its contractor failed to put up orange hazard cones and left equipment in the road, it might be responsible for a resulting accident. Suing the government involves a shorter statute of limitations and other procedural requirements. For example, usually a claim against CALTRANS must be filed within six months of the accident, with a lawsuit being filed soon afterward depending on the outcome of the initial claim.

In other cases, a driver of a passenger car or other vehicle fails to use due care or abide by the special rules that govern work zones. If you are trying to sue an individual or private entity for negligence, you would have to prove the defendant's duty of care, the defendant's breach of duty, a causal connection from the breach to your injuries, and actual damages.

If another driver violated a safety statute, negligence per se may apply. This means that the violation itself proves the duty and the defendant's breach of duty, and you do not need to separately prove these elements. To prove negligence per se, you would need to show that the defendant violated a safety statute that was designed to protect a class to which you belong and that the violation was a substantial factor in bringing about your harm. As long as the defendant's actions were not excused, he or she will be considered negligent. You then would need to establish the causation and damages elements.

Consult a Los Angeles Attorney to Pursue Compensation after a Car Crash

When someone’s carelessness causes a motor vehicle collision in a Los Angeles work zone, individuals who are involved can contact the lawyers at Sharifi Firm. We also assist accident victims in Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Temecula, and San Bernardino, as well as other Southern California cities. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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