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Accidents in Construction Zones: Who is Liable?

Posted on September 10, 2020 in Car Accident,Personal Injury

Transportation accidents are a common cause of worker death in the construction industry. Construction zone car accidents are not only a threat to workers, however. These crashes regularly injure and kill motor vehicle drivers as well. If you were in an accident in a construction zone in Nevada, you may be eligible for compensation. Learn whether you have a case with help from a local car accident lawyer.

Who Is Liable?

The liable party will be the individual or entity most responsible for causing the crash. Liability for your car accident in Nevada can vary according to the facts of the case. Determining liability often requires an analysis of available evidence. Much of this is time-sensitive material, such as a driver’s cellphone records or evidence from the scene of the crash. You will need to retain an attorney quickly to ensure the preservation of key evidence. Your personal injury lawyer can assess this information to determine the liable party.

  • Construction company
  • Construction worker
  • Independent contractor
  • Subcontractor
  • Product manufacturer
  • The City of Las Vegas for a road defect
  • Other drivers
  • Third parties

The cause of your accident can determine the defendant. Common causes of these collisions include dangerous construction zone designs, confusing detours, lack of warning signs, operating machinery too close to the road, bright lights and uneven shoulders. The construction company will generally be liable for these types of hazards. If another party is responsible, however, your lawyer can help you determine and prove negligence.

Do I Have a Case?

Personal injury law in Nevada relies on the legal theory of negligence. It states that an injured accident victim will have the right to seek financial compensation from someone if that person was negligent in causing or failing to prevent the accident. In most cases, before the courts will award an injured car accident victim damages for a construction zone accident, the victim must fulfill the burden of proof. You or your lawyer must prove four elements as more likely to be true than not true.

  1. Duty of care owed: The defendant you name in your construction zone accident case will be the party you believe is to blame for your damages. Your lawyer will need to establish that this party owed you a legal duty of care. Common examples include construction companies and third parties.
  2. Violation of the duty of care: Second, your lawyer will need to provide evidence of the defendant violating a duty of care owed to you. For example, a construction company would violate the duty to maintain a safe road construction zone by leaving equipment too close to the road. Anything a reasonable construction company would not have done in the same situation could constitute negligence.
  3. Fault for causing your car accident:  The third element is causation. Your lawyer must be able to establish a connection between the defendant’s mistake and your car accident. The defendant’s negligence needs to be the proximate (foremost) cause of your accident to be held liable for your damages.
  4. Damages incurred: Damages are compensable losses suffered in an accident. You or your attorney must show proof that you sustained specific damages in the construction zone accident, such as medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

In general, you will need evidence of these four elements to have a case in Nevada. Some cases, however, have lesser burdens of proof. If you are holding a manufacturing company liable for a defective seat belt that caused your injuries, for example, your case may use the doctrine of strict liability instead. This would remove the burden to prove a breach of duty of care. Your attorney can give you in-depth information about the elements of proof in your specific case.

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