What to Do After a Car Accident in a Work Zone
Summary: In recent years, states have enacted increasingly harsh penalties for speeding through construction zones along with other measures designed to make these areas safer. Unfortunately, accidents still happen. If you’ve been in a car accident in a construction zone, it’s important that you understand how work zone accidents are unique.
In recent years, states have enacted increasingly harsh penalties for speeding through construction zones along with other measures designed to make these areas safer. Unfortunately, accidents still happen. If you’ve been in a car accident in a construction zone, it’s important that you take the following steps to protect yourself. In the event that you have to make a claim, a lawyer can guide you through the process.
Contact the Police
One of the most important things you can do when you get in an accident is to contact the police. If nothing else, the police will write a report that you can use later on to confirm important facts such as the date, time, and names and addresses of all involved parties. More importantly, though, the police can secure the scene of the accident to keep everyone safe. Law enforcement can also help obtain information from witnesses or other people involved in the accident who may be somewhat uncooperative.
Exchange Information with the Other Driver
If you need to make a claim, you want to ensure you have all the relevant information you may need. Thankfully, phones make this easy - you can quickly snap a photo of a license plate, an insurance card, or a driver’s license.
- Insurance information. You want to make sure that you at least get the name of the other driver’s insurance company, the phone number, and the policy number.
- Vehicle information. Be sure to obtain the vehicle make, model, year, and color.
- Driver’s license information. A driver’s license can be used to confirm the other driver’s name and address. Be sure also to record the driver’s identification number.
- Contact information. If you need to make a claim, you want to be able to get a hold of the other person. Be sure to get all of their phone numbers, and their email addresses.
Document the Scene
Because construction zones are constantly changing, it’s important to carefully document the scene of your accident as soon as possible. Using the camera on your phone, you’ll want to capture the scene from multiple angles. Pay attention to the signage alerting drivers to the construction zone, speed limits, lane closures, and similar warnings or alerts. Make a note of any signs that indicate who is performing the construction. You’ll also want to document the damage to your vehicle.
Obtain Witness Statements
You’ll want to get statements from anyone who may have witnessed the accident. While many people may be reluctant to go on record, a clear and detailed statement from a first-hand witness can be quite helpful in the event you need to make a claim. Ask them to write out or record what they saw in their own words.
What if There Isn’t Another Driver?
Construction zones are dangerous, and as such, it’s not uncommon for accidents to occur due to poor signage or other unsafe conditions. The construction company has an obligation to ensure that the area is safe for motorists. If they fail to make it safe and an accident occurs, then the company may be liable for your injuries. For this reason, it’s important to document the scene of the accident and any information concerning the company performing the work.
Talk to an Experienced Attorney
Each state has different laws pertaining to construction zones, so you should contact an attorney who handles car accidents in your area if you’ve been injured. They can help you navigate the claim and understand your options.
Jared Staver is the founder of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., a law firm located in Chicago, IL, where he helps injured car accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
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