When Lack of Road Construction Signs Leads to Injury and Automobile Destruction
Imagine driving along the interstate – a route you take every day – confident in your driving, your knowledge of the road, and the ability of the drivers surrounding you, when all of a sudden…your lane ends. Instead of the open third lane you are used to, you are met with a wall of cones and construction workers. You swerve to get over, and instead of hitting the cones and construction workers, you run right into the side of the minivan to your right.
Road signs are there to help us, and a lack of signage, or misplaced signage, can cause confusion and present numerous, otherwise avoidable, hazards. Road signs are even more important in construction zones, as the lack of proper warning signs can lead to insufficient warning to drivers, which can lead to severe injuries to either motorists, construction workers, or both.
When insufficient signage or misleading signage in a construction zone leads to a car accident and subsequent injuries, the construction company is generally liable. If you were involved in a car accident that was the result of improper construction zone signage, it is imperative that you speak with a Tampa personal injury lawyer right away. At The Pendas Law Firm, we can help you build your personal injury case and receive just damages for the harm caused to you and your vehicle as a result of the construction crew’s negligence.
A Construction Company’s Duty of Care
According to Florida Statutes, Title XXVI. Public Transportation, Chapter 337. Contracting; Acquisition, Disposal and Use of Property, 337.195, contractors who construct, maintain, or repair highways, roads, streets, bridges, or other transportation facilities for the Department of Transportation are not liable for personal injuries, property damage, or death that result from the construction, maintenance, or repair IF, at the time of the personal injury, property damage, or death, the contractor was in compliance with contract documents. However, according to section (2), subsection (a) of statute 337.195, “the limitation on liability…does not apply when the proximate cause of the personal injury, property damage, or death was the contractor’s failure to perform, update, or comply with the maintenance of the traffic safety plan as required by the traffic documents.” Failure to comply with the maintenance of the traffic safety plan includes failure to post proper signage.
In order to win a personal injury lawsuit against a construction company or the government, there are three elements that you need to prove in order to establish negligence as the cause of your injuries. They are:
- The Construction Crew’s Duty to You: This element is basically established when a construction company agrees to do any roadwork for the State of Florida. Federal and state safety regulations require warning signs of upcoming construction to be placed at least a quarter of a mile before the beginning of a construction zone, and to make sure that proper signage is used. Furthermore, a road construction crew is required to take reasonable measures outside of government regulations – if necessary – to keep a construction zone safe.
- Breach of Duty: When a construction company fails to take reasonable measures, or fails to adhere to state and federal work zone regulations, the duty of care is effectively breached. A breach of duty is equivalent to negligence, and should an individual – worker or motorist – be injured as a result of that negligence, the construction company may be liable.
- Determining Damages: In a lawsuit against a construction company, the most common types of damages include:
- Property damage (to your vehicle);
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages (for time missed at work as a result of your injuries);
- Pain and suffering; and
- Decreased quality of life (as a result of your injuries).
Consult a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
At The Pendas Law Firm, our Tampa auto accident lawyers can help you navigate Florida law regarding construction zone and personal injury accidents. If you or a loved one was involved in an automobile accident as a result of a lack of or inadequate signage in a construction zone, you are entitled to fair compensation for damages accrued. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact our Tampa law firm at 1-888-LPENDAS, or schedule your private consultation online today. We also service clients in the Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale & Miami areas.