Who Is Liable For An Accident In A Florida Work Zone?
Work zones are very challenging to drive through. They’re bustling with people, have uneven and hazardous road conditions, and change constantly. It’s no surprise that a study conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation found that in the state of Florida there is an average of over 13,000 work zone accidents per year. What’s worse, not only are they frequent, they are very deadly leading to nearly 100 driver deaths per year. Further, because there are several hazards in a work zone, work zone accident cases are very legally complex. This is especially true when determining liability.
Common Types Of Accidents In Work Zones
Work zones have several hazards that lead to a higher rate of accidents. You must always use extra caution when driving through work zones to avoid an accident. The most common types of work zone accidents include:
● Pedestrian accidents
● Rear-end accidents
● Accidents with barriers and cones
● Collisions with construction vehicles
Unfortunately, many of these accidents lead to fatalities and serious injuries. Always follow the safety instructions and take your time through work zones. If you do get into one of these accidents, the first step in recovering damages is to determine liability.
Understanding The Basics Of Florida Liability
Liability is a term for the legal responsibility people have for the consequences of their chosen actions. According to Cornell Law School, a party can be held liable by the courts for “their own actions, their own inactions, or the actions of people for which they are legally responsible such as employees. To prove liability in the state of Florida, you must prove the following:
● There was an accident
● The accident was the result of another party’s negligence
● There are damages (medical bills, property damage, etc.)
● The accident caused the damages
Essentially, you have to prove to the courts that the other party is legally responsible for the damages you endured from the accident. Your attorney will do this with evidence like medical bills, police reports, and traffic footage.
Why Liability Is Complicated In Work Zone Accidents
Though the concept of liability is not hard to understand, determining liability can be in work zone accidents. That is because of the increased number of hazards and involved parties. The party liable for the accident could be unexpected or could be multiple parties. Here are some examples:
● The construction company could be held liable for not putting up adequate warning signs
● Construction equipment manufacturers could be held liable for an accident caused by a malfunctioning
● The municipality could be liable for not enforcing safety requirements
Also, other drivers could be liable for the accident as well. Further, more than one of these parties could be responsible for your accident. As your attorney reviews and investigates the case, they’ll be able to determine which party or parties are eventually liable for your accident.
Florida’s Right Of Way Law
Determining liability is even further complicated in Florida work zone accidents because of the laws. Title XXIII, Chapter 316 State Uniform Traffic Control, Section 316.076 “Duty to yield to highway construction workers” is an important one to understand in work zone accident cases. According to this law, all drivers are required to yield the right of way to a construction zone worker. In the case of an accident, if you did not yield the right of way to a worker, you could be liable for the accident yourself.
Determining liability is very complicated in work zone accidents. That is why you want to make sure that you are working with a skilled and knowledgeable Florida auto accident attorney. Our team at Justice Pays Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh can help. Resolving over 10,000 Southwest Florida accidents, we’ve recovered over $500 million in compensation for our accident victims. Many of whom were involved in legally complex work zone accidents. We can help you. Contact us for a free case review. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and go over your legal options.