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Liability in Road Construction Zone Accidents

Posted on in BGL Law

The warm weather months are a time for increased use of the roads by drivers and construction workers. Drivers are more likely to take road trips, while road construction crews need spring and summer to perform maintenance. When drivers and construction workers share the road, there is potential for disaster. A mistake by either side can cause serious injuries or death. Vehicle accidents in road construction zones may also result in criminal charges and personal injury claims. With all the factors involved in a construction accident, determining fault becomes complex.

Driver Liability

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, drivers are more often victims in road construction zone crashes than construction workers. Road construction can create narrowed or reduced lanes, and construction zones often have reduced speed limits for the safety of both the drivers and workers. Drivers in Illinois who neglect to slow down or avoid construction areas may face traffic charges and civil penalties:

  • Regardless of whether workers are present, speeding in a construction zone is a minimum $375 fine for the first offense and $1,000 fine for the second offense.
  • A driver's license will be suspended for 90 days if the second speeding offense occurs within two years of the first offense, as long as workers were present during both incidents.
  • If the driver causes an accident in a construction zone, he or she can be fined a maximum of $10,000 and have his or her license suspended for 90 days to two years.
  • If a construction worker is injured during the accident, the driver may be responsible for personal injury damages.
  • If the accident results in a construction worker's death, the driver may be charged with involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide. Both are at minimum a class 3 felony, which can result in a prison sentence of two to five years.

Construction Operator Liability

Illinois requires road construction crews to follow safety procedures to help prevent vehicle accidents. If negligence by the workers or their employer causes an accident, the driver can pursue personal injury and property damage compensation. Construction workers must:

  • Erect signs that clearly inform drivers of the reduced speed limit and traffic pattern changes;
  • Post the signs in locations that give drivers ample warning of the changes;
  • Leave enough space to allow vehicles to avoid construction barricades and equipment; and
  • Warn drivers if construction vehicles need to temporarily interrupt traffic.

Determining Liability

Vehicle accidents in road construction zones can be catastrophic for drivers and workers. A McHenry County car accident attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you retrieve personal injury compensation from the liable party or defend you against criminal charges. Call 815-338-3838 for a free consultation.



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