Indiana drivers and passengers are most at risk in a road construction work zone accident
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) statistics reveal that in 2013, 13 people were killed and more than 300 injured in INDOT work zones. Four out of five people who are killed in highway construction zones are drivers and their passengers.
Under Indiana law, motor vehicle operators who are reckless or drive aggressively in a road construction zone may face a penalty of $5,000. Drivers who fatally injure a worker in a road construction zone can face a felony charge punishable by two to eight years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Most accidents occurring in roadwork construction zones result from recklessness
INDOT states that most work zone accidents result from:
- Following too closely (many interviewed state police officers believe this to be the number 1 cause of highway accidents)
- Unsafe lane movement (cutting off other drivers and making unexpected lane changes)
- Driver inattention and distracted driving (eating, texting, etc)
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Loss of control (uneven pavement or an object in the roadway)
Your attorney lays the foundation of your work zone accident case
An attorney representing an injured party or the family of a deceased person killed in a roadwork construction zone immediately reviews the investigating officer’s official accident report and contacts witnesses for a statement while memories of the crash are fresh. There may be more than one party who bears some fault for the accident. This may or may not be determined in the initial investigative stage. Here are a few examples of questions that may be posed to the witnesses:
- Was the driver at fault speeding or driving erratically?
- Was he or she following too closely for road conditions or making movements that any reasonable person would deem unsafe?
- Describe the road conditions; slippery, slushy, dry?
- What was the condition of the pavement?
- Was there a foreign object in the road that may have made conditions hazardous? If so, was it an object that may have belonged to a road construction crew? Or, was it something that may have fallen from a vehicle? If so, was there a logo or an identifying name anywhere on the vehicle? Perhaps a license plate or description?
These are just a few of the preliminary questions. The attorney will comb through witness statements, read the official narratives and closely inspect police and witness photos and/or videos to determine how and why the accident occurred, who was primarily responsible and if there were additional parties that may bear some responsibility. In some instances, an accident reconstructionist may be consulted and a report delivered for evidence to be used at a later time. The initial footwork performed by your lawyer lays the foundation of the case.
An experienced attorney will join all defendants to the suit as soon as possible. In most situations there is a two-year statute of limitations to get the case filed with the court; under certain circumstances the plaintiff may only have 180 days from the date of the accident to file a Tort Claims Notice. Therefore, it’s vital that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible after a construction zone accident so the ruling statute of limitations is observed and filing procedures are properly followed.
Alcohol and illegal drugs are often contributing factors in crash fatalities
According to CDC.gov, in 2010 nearly one-third of all accident-related fatalities involved alcohol impaired driving; drugs such as marijuana and cocaine were involved in 18% of crash fatalities. Alcohol, drugs or the combination of the two affect concentration, judgment, decision making and slow the brain’s response. When people lose their inhibitions from the effects of alcohol and drugs, they become a menace on the road.
A blood test is required under the implied consent law when a person dies or there are serious injuries resulting from an accident. The plaintiffs’ attorney will want to review the blood test findings. If the responsible driver’s bloodwork reveals alcohol consumption beyond the legal limit or tests positive for a controlled substance without a doctor’s prescription, criminal charges may also be filed against the defendant driver while undergoing a civil suit.
An experienced personal injury attorney builds the case while you focus on the healing process
It is devastating for a family when an officer of the law appears at your door only to tell you that your husband, wife, son or daughter has been killed in an accident. If you know of someone who has died or sustained a head, back, neck or any other type of injury because of another driver’s negligence in a highway construction work zone, the lawyers at Ward & Ward Law Firm would be happy to discuss the case and give the claimant(s) an honest legal assessment of the potential claim.
Our attorneys prepare every case for trial
While some cases may settle before the calendar trial date, the attorneys at Ward & Ward prepare every client’s case with trial as the destination in mind. What exactly does that mean?
It means a thorough investigation is performed by the members of our legal team. It means that every “i” is dotted and every “t” is crossed in preparation for a court trial. Discovery is complete, accurate and thorough and the Rules of Civil Trial Procedure are strictly adhered to. We care about our clients and our goal is to assist everyone in putting the pieces of their lives back together. We handle the legal issues so our clients can put all of their intention to the healing process.
Our attorneys strongly believe that everyone should have access to the courts. Our firm will not be paid unless we recover for you. Call Charlie Ward today at 317-639-9501 for a free consultation.