Roadside construction litigation occurs when an individual experiences harm or injury due to the effects of construction. Often, roadside construction litigation is the result of defects in construction that lead to vehicle accidents on the road. Roadside construction litigation may also involve construction employees who are injured while working on a construction site.
Roads which are considered safe provide travelers with adequate time to see, assess, and react to conditions and changes on the road. When public and private entities fail to reasonably facilitate safe travel, roadside construction litigation may occur. This form of litigation is often complex. It is therefore recommended that injured parties seek an experienced roadside construction litigation attorney.
Types of Roadside Construction Litigation
During roadside construction litigation, the plaintiff may pursue various allegations of negligence or wrongful behavior on the part of the defendant. Among other options, there are three primary types of liability under which a plaintiff can allege that the defendant is guilty of such actions. Roadside construction litigation may occur due to suspected defective roadway design, failure to maintain a roadway, or inadequate warning of dangers.
Defective Roadway Design
The plaintiff may allege that the roadway in question was hazardous by nature, due to defective design. This may be seen in the case of an intersection which presents a number of blind spots or other hazards. Defective roadway design does not necessarily involve construction projects or other temporary conditions which may present hazards to travelers.
Failure to Maintain a Roadway
In these cases, a roadway becomes affected by changes or conditions which may pose a hazard to travelers. The roadway owner or operator is responsible for ensuring that travelers are not harmed due to these unexpected conditions. In order to accomplish this, the owner or operator should eliminate hazards in a timely manner and provide reasonable warning of the hazard until it can be eliminated.
Inadequate Construction Signs or Warnings
When a hazard is present on a roadway, the owner or operator of the area is responsible for providing adequate warning to those who use it for travel. In most cases, adequate warning can include posting signs and warnings for the hazardous roadway conditions. These signs and warnings should be clearly visible and conspicuously placed so that each traveler has a reasonable opportunity to read and follow them.
Examples of Roadside Construction Litigation
Roadside construction litigation may occur due to several scenarios, which may include:
- Excessive roadway hazards such as gravel or oil slicks
- Roadside debris that remains for an unreasonable amount of time
- Malfunctioning or inadequate warning signals and signs, such as street lights and traffic signs
- Potholes which are not fixed in a timely manner or warned about to travelers
- Hazardous conditions and roadway designs that have not been fixed or modified, despite previous indications of danger
- Unexpected drop-offs in the roadside shoulder, which travelers are not adequately warned of
- Insufficient or inadequate warning of hazardous upcoming conditions, such as merging traffic, construction zones, or dangerous weather conditions
Orlando Construction Lawyers
Proving fault of the defendant in roadside construction litigation may be complex and difficult. This is particularly seen by the fact that local, state, or federal governments are often the defendants in roadside construction litigation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Roadside Construction accident, please contact our attorneys here at Paul & Perkins PA.
Burden of Proof
The plaintiff in roadside construction litigation holds the burden of proof when filing a lawsuit. This means that the plaintiff is responsible for providing the necessary evidence to support the claim. In order to win roadside construction litigation against a government entity, the plaintiff must be able to provide strong evidence that the defending party is clearly at fault.
In order to prove fault in roadside construction litigation, the plaintiff must show evidence that:
- The plaintiff was injured while traveling roadside.
- The road on which the plaintiff was traveling was defectively designed or improperly maintained by the defendant. In addition to the hazardous nature of the roadside, the plaintiff did not receive adequate warning of the dangers involved.
- The injury sustained by the plaintiff was caused by the defectively designed or improperly maintained road.
Clain, Suzanne Heller. “Effect of liability limitations on the level of care in the public sector: the case of highway maintenance.” Public Finance Quarterly Oct. 1994: 483+. Academic OneFile. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.
Coppolo, George. “Lawsuits against Towns for Defective Roads.” Connecticut General Assembly. OLR, 22 Dec 1998. Web. 26 Sep 2013. <http://search.cga.state.ct.us/dtsearch.asp?cmd=getdoc&DocId=13284&Index=I:zindex1998&HitCount=0&hits=&hc=0&req=&Item=8719>.
Kelley, Benjamin. “Why the United States Lags in Auto Safety and Lessons it can Import.” Journal of Public Health Policy 31.3 (2010): 369-377. MEDLINE with Full Text. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.