It is often said that there are two seasons in Chicago: winter and construction. Many Chicago area roadways – including highways, expressways, and major thoroughfares – are under construction this time of year. Construction zones make roadways more dangerous by reducing the number of lanes, narrowing lanes, diverting traffic, and placing obstacles (such as signs and orange safety barrels) along the roadway. Accordingly, it is incredibly important that drivers be vigilant about motor vehicle safety by slowing down, obeying posted speed limits, and avoiding cell phone use while driving.
Because of the extra dangers that construction work zones involve, accidents can occur more frequently. On average, there are thousands of work zone motor vehicle crashes in Illinois every year. In fact, according to data provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), there were 4,863 reported traffic collisions in Illinois construction zones in 2011, which injured 1,525 persons and killed 24 people. IDOT reports that, in 2012, 19 people died in road work zones.
Under IDOT’s “Embrace the Orange” campaign, safety advocates seek to educate drivers on the dangers of driving recklessly through construction work zones and ask drivers to “pledge to do [their] part to make zero fatalities a reality.” Motorists are expected to operate their vehicles with the appropriate level of care and the failure to do can result in liability for any injuries or deaths caused by their negligence. Accordingly, if a motorist negligently fails to drive at a safe speed or engages in distracted driving, he or she could be liable for money damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
Similarly, if an accident occurs as a result of inadequate warning signs or unmarked road hazards, the construction company or government agency responsible for the roadway could be held liable for money damages in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The Chicago auto accident lawyers at Ankin Law Office, LLC are committed to educating motorists on ways to keep Illinois roadways safer and to holding negligent drivers responsible for any injuries or damages that they cause as a result of their misconduct. We are dedicated to getting full and fair financial recovery for our clients, and are well-versed at handling complex legal issues, such as comparative negligence and distracted driving.
In some situations, the victim of a construction zone auto accident may be a construction worker, in which case the injured worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer, as well as personal injury damages in a third-party lawsuit. Our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers are dedicated to getting injured workers the maximum financial recovery possible.
If you were injured in a construction zone auto accident, contact our office at (312) 600-0000 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Chicago auto accident lawyers.