Work zone crashes are rising in Indiana. In 2019, the state saw the highest number of fatal work zone crashes and work zone fatalities of the last decade. Across the country, a work zone crash occurs every 5.4 minutes, and 4 of every 5 fatalities in a work zone crash is a passenger or driver.
These crashes are dangerous to both drivers and workers. They can rapidly turn into a pileup if drivers are going too fast or following too closely. They can also cause devastating accidents, including catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
If you have lost a loved one to a work zone crash in Indiana or suffered crippling injuries in a work zone crash, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an experienced auto accident attorney to begin filing your lawsuit.
What is a Work Zone Crash?
A work zone crash occurs within a declared construction zone on the road. Workers mark these areas with signs, safety cones, and temporary painted lines. Work zones always have a reduced speed limit to protect both the workers and drivers. Often, work zones also require merging or waiting for a line of traffic to proceed down a single lane before you can drive through.
If drivers ignore the signs, speed, or don’t merge in time before lanes are reduced, then crashes can occur. Whether it’s hitting another car while trying to cut the merge line, or speeding into a large construction vehicle, a crash in a work zone can have horrific results, necessitating the involvement of Indiana catastrophic injury attorneys.
Work Zone Crash Facts
In 2020, there were 3,878 work zone crashes in Indiana, 1,000 more than in 2019. In total, 26 people died, and 824 suffered injuries. This rising trend isn’t limited to Indiana. Over the past 10 years, work zone crashes have seen a steady increase nationwide, with both injuries and fatalities rising as well.
A public relations director with the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) attributed many of these crashes to speeding and distracted driving. If a driver’s attention is on their phone or a passenger, they may not see the signage about the work zone, resulting in them rear-ending someone or failing to slow down.
A work zone crash could cause severe injuries. Common injuries seen in work zone crashes include internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and spinal cord injuries. Victims of crashes may also suffer from PTSD after the crash.
Internal bleeding requires immediate emergency medical care and can cause death if left untreated. A severe TBI could cause coma, life-long memory or speech problems, and long-term pain. Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis and may cost millions of dollars over a lifetime to treat. PTSD can also be debilitating, preventing a victim from driving again or causing panic attacks.
How to Avoid a Work Zone Crash
As the weather improves, INDOT takes on more construction projects. To protect yourself from suffering a life-altering injury, follow these tips to avoid a crash.
- Maintain a proper following distance: Sudden stops are common in a work zone. Ensure you leave enough distance to stop without rear-ending the car in front.
- Check your blind spot: Before merging, check your blind by physically turning and looking out your side window. You could miss a motorcycle or sideswipe a car trying to cut the merge line.
- Follow the speed limit: Never speed in a work zone. There are many distractions, unexpected merges and stops, and sometimes a bumpy road.
- Limit distractions: Don’t talk on the phone, change the radio or temperature, or reach back to pick up your child’s toy. With the quick changes possible in a work zone, even a one-second distraction could be the difference between avoiding a crash and suffering or inflicting a severe injury.
- Be proactive: As soon as you see the signs announcing the work zone, merge into the correct lane. Waiting until the last minute to merge can encourage aggressive driving and lead to another driver cutting you off.
After a Work Zone Crash
Nearly every 1 in 6 work zone crashes results in an injury or fatality. After a work zone crash, you may have high medical bills, car repair costs, and lost wages to deal with. As soon as possible, you should contact our experienced car accident lawyers to learn if you can get compensation for your injuries.
In the United States, there are 12 work zone crashes resulting in a fatality every week. If you lose a loved one in a work zone accident, a wrongful death attorney can advise you on who to include in your lawsuit. Work zone crash lawsuits are complex since multiple people could be liable, including the construction company, another driver, or even the state.
Although filing a lawsuit won’t bring your loved one back or return you to perfect health, it can help you and your family recover after a horrific accident.
Get Compensation For Your Injury
After a work zone crash, you and your family will have to deal with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The team at Wagner Reese, LLP has extensive experience helping Indiana families recover compensation for work zone accidents. Call today and schedule a free consultation with our law firm.
We’ll review your case and determine whether you can proceed with a lawsuit and how much compensation you should seek. Don’t delay. Our team can handle your deadlines, file the correct paperwork, and work to prove your case, so you can focus on resting and healing.