Driving through a work zone on the highway can be tedious and frustrating. You’re not getting where you want to be in the time you wish to be there, and maneuvering through narrow and tricky roadways can be a true hassle. But there are other dangers in a work zone that you should know, such as construction vehicles and commercial trucks. With limited visibility and poor maneuverability, these vehicles are often the source of accidents within work zones. Not only are these vehicles large and unwieldy, but they also usually carry dangerous material such as gravel or equipment that may accidentally fall onto the road. All of these variables lead to accidents in work zones on the road, and if you find yourself in such a position, there are actions you can take to receive compensation for your damages and injuries.
Types of work zone vehicle and truck accidents
The most common work zone vehicle and truck accidents are angle, rear end, and head-on collisions.
- Angle collisions: When a vehicle collides with another vehicle at an angle. With trucks, this often happens when a truck is changing lanes, and does not see the other vehicle in his side-view mirror because the smaller vehicle is in the truck’s blind-spot.
- Rear-end collisions: When a vehicle collides into another vehicle from behind. This occurs often with trucks when the car in front of the truck needs to make a sudden stop, and the truck behind it is unable to come to a stop in such a short time.
- Head-on collisions: When two vehicles strike each other head on. This may happen when a work truck is driving in the shoulder toward oncoming traffic, and a car needs to enter that shoulder for some reason.
In work zones, about 30 percent of crashes involve trucks, and the number of people killed in these crashes has been increasing over the past five years. There have been over 1,000 fatalities, and more than 18,000 injuries.
Most common work zone truck accident injuries
Vehicle crashes with commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are oftentimes serious, requiring hospitalization if the driver survives at all. Some of the most common injuries when it comes to vehicle accidents are as follows:
- Traumatic brain injury: These injuries often occur in accidents where the driver’s head is hit against the windshield or hit by objects in the car. These injuries are common in head-on collisions.
- Whiplash: Common in rear-end crashes, these occur in the neck “where the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerve roots in the neck have suffered damage.” These injuries are soft-tissue injuries, but can have long lasting effects such as neck pain, headaches, and dizziness to name a few.
- Back and neck injuries: In a crash, your body is often jerked around, and this can lead to back and neck injuries. These injuries are not always noticeable immediately after the crash, but can make themselves known later when your adrenaline has lessened. You may experience symptoms such as dizziness; neck, back and shoulder pain; limited range of motion, burning sensations, and a loss of strength.
- Spinal cord injuries: These are some of the more severe injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents. It can lead to partial or full paralysis, and leave you with injuries that affect you for a lifetime.
- Broken bones: While common, these injuries can be serious, and take a long time to heal. It truck accidents, there is an increased likelihood of breaking multiple bones, including ribs, collarbones, hips, and legs.
- Internal organ damage: Punctured lungs, livers and kidneys are some of the most common organs injured in crashes, and can be life-threatening.
- Burn injuries: Spanning the gamut of injuries, you can have walked away from the crash with a minor and irritating first degree burn, or you may have to be taken away by in an ambulance with a devastating third degree burn that can lead to a long period of terrible pain, followed by disfigurement or a permanent disability.
Who is responsible for a work zone truck accident in Oklahoma City?
Determining who is responsible depends on how the accident occurred, but liable parties could include:
- Other drivers
- The construction site owner
- Maintenance and repair crews
- Engineers and architects
- Oklahoma, counties, townships, and governmental agencies.
These are all parties that you can file a claim against, and whom we have experience filing claims against. The types of lawsuits you can file vary, and can include:
- Personal injury: Based on the negligence of the driver and those responsible for the driver’s actions.
- Wrongful death: If a loved one was killed, we represent their family. Our lawyers demand that wrongdoers compensate the family for the costs of such things like the funeral and any economic or social losses experienced by the family.
- Product liability: Sometimes, there is a defect on the truck that caused your injury. Our work zone attorneys will hold the truck companies and truck manufacturing companies responsible.
Work zone accidents are unfortunately common, and can lead to tragic and life altering injuries. Work zone trucks often have more difficulties maneuvering on the road, and so they are more likely to cause crashes. When they do cause a crash, they or their trucking owner can be held responsible for your injuries and damages. If you’ve been in a crash in a work zone, our Oklahoma City car accident attorneys can represent you so that you can receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your right to compensation, call Cunningham & Mears at (405) 232-1212, or get in touch with us by filling out our contact form. Our office is located in Oklahoma City, and we’re ready to help you.
Ryan Y. Cunningham is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Cunningham devotes his practice to protecting the rights of injured Oklahoma residents. In addition to assisting injured clients, Mr. Cunningham endeavors to improve personal injury representation by speaking on issues related to personal injury law to attorneys in continuing legal education courses and to law students. Learn More