Negligence is behind work zone accidents in Oklahoma
There is a saying that summer is road work season in the US, but the truth is that there are various projects going on across Oklahoma throughout the year. On any given day, you can drive around Tulsa and see work zone signs alerting motorists to the presence of construction teams. Unfortunately, there are also traffic disruptions, which can increase the potential for work zone accidents. According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), there have been 65 fatalities in the state over the last five years. You might be surprised to learn that just four were ODOT workers; the remaining deaths involved occupants of motorized vehicles.
When you realize that both construction workers and motorists are at risk, you probably wonder how accidents happen in work zones. In general, they occur because of negligence, regardless of the specific underlying causes. It is critical to discuss remedies with a Tulsa, OK work zone accident lawyer, but you may benefit from an overview.
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Causes of Oklahoma Work Zone Accidents
Negligence is the theory of liability in most vehicle collisions, but the term means more than mere carelessness under personal injury laws. You must have evidence showing how the at-fault motorist breached the duty to exercise reasonable care while driving, and this misconduct led to the crash. In work zone accidents, some of the most common causes include:
- Failure to follow detour signs and alerts;
- Traveling at a speed in excess of work zone limits;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Neglecting to allow workers right of way
- Failing to yield to other vehicles;
- Wrong way driving, often the result of confusing signage;
- Texting, talking on the phone, and related cell phone use; and,
- Other forms of distracted driving, such as eating, adjusting the radio, or using a GPS.
Compensation for Work Zone Accident Victims
By proving the elements described above, you may be entitled to recover amounts for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and many other losses. Even construction zone workers can seek these damages, since Oklahoma worker’s compensation system is NOT the sole remedy when a third party is at fault for causing the crash.
However, you will still need to go through a complicated legal process to recover damages. Initially, you will file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. It is often possible to settle, but insurers typically prioritize their own interests above yours. If the insurer denies your claim or refuses to pay fair compensation, the next step is filing a lawsuit in court. Litigation and trial are extremely complex, so legal help is crucial.
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Trust a Tulsa, OK Work Zone Accident Attorney to Assist With Remedies
For more information on your rights and legal options, please contact BDIW Law. You can call or visit us online to set up a no-cost consultation with one of our Oklahoma work zone accidents lawyers. After reviewing your situation, we can advise you on next steps.
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