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What Is Road Construction Negligence?

Posted on January 11, 2019 in Firm News

Every year, Las Vegas pays for thousands of road construction projects aimed to maintain and improve its roadways. When completed properly, road construction can increase the safety of drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Road construction negligence, however can compromise the safety and success of a project. If Clark County, a construction company, or another party negligently creates an unsafe work zone and causes a related accident, the at-fault party could be liable for damages.

Common Examples of Road Construction Negligence

The legal definition of negligence is a failure to behave with a level of care that a reasonable and prudent person would have under the same circumstances. Negligence can describe either actions or omissions depending on the situation. Negligence can cause serious construction zone accidents, such as car crashes and worker injuries. Road construction negligence can take many forms.

  • Unsafe or confusing detours
  • Roadway defects
  • Lack of proper warning signs
  • Overgrown vegetation covering signage
  • Loose rubble or gravel
  • Uneven shoulders
  • Potholes or trenches
  • Debris left in the road
  • Tools or equipment in the road
  • Medians or roads lacking lines
  • Damaged or missing guardrails
  • Poorly designed roadways

Road construction negligence puts everyone involved in danger. Construction workers cannot operate efficiently in an unsafe work zone, nor can pedestrians or drivers hope to pass unscathed if a hazard exists on or near the roadway. A few different parties could bear responsibility for others’ safety at a roadway construction site.

Who Is Liable?

A construction company could be liable, or legally responsible, for a work zone accident if the company’s negligence or that of its employee caused the accident. A construction company’s negligence, such as failing to properly train workers or maintain work vehicles, could make the company liable if this negligence caused the injuries in question. If a construction worker caused the injuries, the company could be vicariously liable.

The City of Las Vegas may be liable for road construction negligence if the issue the case involves has to do with municipality neglect. For example, if the city failed to adequately post warning signs or provide safe detours, the government may absorb at least partial liability for an accident. Cases against the government involve different rules than typical claims. Other potential liable parties include other drivers on the road, a product manufacturer, or a private property owner.

Proving Liability for a Road Construction Accident

Once an injury lawyer has identified the at-fault party for a road construction accident, it is the plaintiff’s burden to prove the defendant’s fault. The plaintiff and his or her lawyer will need to show through a preponderance of evidence that the defendant was negligent in some way, and that this negligence caused or contributed to the injuries in question. Work zone personal injury claims involve four main elements.

  1. Duty of care. The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care based on the standards within the industry or surrounding the situation.
  2. Breach of duty of care. The defendant breached, or broke, a duty of care to the plaintiff. A breach of duty can be any act of negligence, carelessness, recklessness, misconduct, or intent to harm.
  3. Causation. The plaintiff’s road construction accident must be a direct outcome of the defendant’s breach of duty of care.
  4. Damages. The plaintiff must have suffered damages as a result of the accident. Damages can include physical injuries, mental anguish, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

With these four elements, a plaintiff will have a strong case against a construction company, the City of Las Vegas, and/or another party for road construction negligence. Hiring an attorney to take care of settlement negotiations or a personal injury trial can be the easiest way for injured victims to fight for damage compensation in Nevada.

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