The Danger Zone: Negligent Motorists and Roadway Construction Workers

Maintaining Colorado roadways is crucial to the safety of all motorists. Building new streets and highways is necessary to ensure the economic stability and growth of the state. As a result, roadway construction workers continually are out in force on the streets and highways of Colorado.

Working on Colorado highways proves to be an extremely dangerous occupation. Of course, working on a roadway carries at least some level of risk even in the best of circumstances. Sadly, two primary factors unnecessarily exaggerate the risks associated with roadway construction jobs.

First, negligent motorists who flagrantly ignore the laws regarding construction zones place workers at a needlessly higher rate of injury or even death. Second, construction contractors sometimes fail to take all appropriate steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), 830 highway construction zones accidents occurred in 2011. (2011 represents that last year that a full set of injury statistics is available from CDOT.) 96 workers were injured as a result of these accidents. 10 workers were killed in roadway work zones in Colorado. Injured and killed workers include people employed by CDOT as well as by private contractors.

CDOT reports that these statistics are consistent with what has been occurring in Colorado roadway work zones over the course of the past several years. Even with public service announcements on television, on radio and in newspapers, negligent motorists continue to jeopardize the lives of hard working Coloradoans in these roadway construction zones.

If you or a member of your family have been injured due to negligence occurring in a roadway construction zone, you must understand your basic rights. At the top of the list is developing an understanding of who may be responsible for compensating you for injuries sustained because of someone else’s negligence.

Depending on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding a work zone accident, a motorist as well as your employer may bear responsibility for the injuries you sustained if they acted with negligence. For example, a motorist who exceeds the speed limit in a construction zone likely is negligent. Similarly, if your employer failed to maintain safety protocols, including actively attempting to regulate the speed of cars passing through the work zone, your employer may be responsible for your injuries as well.

The legal team at Harding & Associates will meet with you in a no-cost, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss the circumstances surrounding your case as well as your rights. Through this initial consultation, we will set out various legal recourses that may be available to you. Call our team at 303-762-9500 or 800-878-7888, or email us at info@hlaw.org, to schedule an appointment.

Car Accident Costs and Consequences in Colorado

The Colorado Highway Patrol reports that four top causes of car accidents in the state are:

• Intoxicated drivers (primarily drivers who are drunk)

• Inattentive drivers (primarily drivers who are texting or eating)

• Speeding drivers

• Aggressive drivers (including cases of road rage)

These types of negligence, combined with other examples of careless conduct by motorists, result in tens of thousands of injuries each year, according to law enforcement officials across the state. Car accident fatalities are at a five year high in Colorado.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the total cost of medical care and the amount lost in productivity in the country, as the result of car accidents, is $99 billion per year. The report from the CDC is at the low end of the spectrum. The AAA estimates annual losses to be at $166.7 billion.

No matter the national average, no matter the Colorado numbers … when you or a loved one sustain injuries as the result of a car accident, the damages are real and of significant consequence. Medical expenses associated with car accident related injuries amount to thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. On top of these costs, you (or a loved one) may experience lost wages, face immediate as well as long term pain and suffering as well as other significant losses and severe consequences.

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of another driver, you cannot sit back and assume that a car insurance corporation will protect your interests. In the end, in Colorado (and across the country), a car insurance corporation’s primary legal obligation is to protect the financial interests of its shareholders – not to pay compensation to injured individuals. In fact, in order to satisfy its primary mission of maximizing profits, an insurance corporation needs to contain costs associated with claims submitted by injured people just like you.

You and your family must have an ally on your side in the aftermath of a car accident. Of course, you must have the expertise of capable health care providers. But, in order to protect your legal rights and interests, you must have an experienced, tenacious attorney in your corner.

The legal team at Harding & Associates stands ready to meet with you, at your convenience, to discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding an automobile accident. Understanding your difficult situation, we do not charge a fee for an initial, no-obligation consultation. Through this initial meeting, we discuss the elements of your claim or case and layout what options may be available to you. Call our team at 303-762-9500 or 800-878-7888, or email us at info@hlaw.org, to schedule an appointment.