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What Injured Victims Should Know About Liability for Truck Crashes in Pennsylvania Construction Zones

road construction on interstate

Construction zones can be dangerous places for drivers in large or small vehicles. If drivers, construction companies and other parties traveling through these areas are not careful, dangerous collisions can occur.

Victims of these crashes often assume another driver is at fault, and oftentimes they are right. However, other parties can be involved, particularly when one of the vehicles involved in the crash is a commercial truck.

Below, we explain liability for commercial truck accidents in Pennsylvania construction zones. We also discuss why construction zones can be dangerous when a driver or another party is negligent.

If you were injured in a crash in a construction zone, call our Harrisburg truck accident attorneys to discuss possible legal options. We have decades of experience representing those injured in collisions, securing millions in compensation on their behalf.

Give us a call to learn more about our services: (717) 727-1837.

What Are the Dangers of Driving Through Construction Zones?

Construction zones have specific risks for drivers, helping increase the likelihood of a crash.

For instance, construction zones often block off lanes of traffic, giving drivers less space to maneuver. Blocking off lanes forces drivers to merge, which always carries a risk of a collision. Merging into a smaller space is particularly dangerous for large trucks, often because other drivers do not want to let a large vehicle go in front of them.

Some of the other dangers of driving through construction zones include:

  • Sudden stops and slower traffic: Unexpected slowdowns and stoppages can increase the risk of a rear-end collision, particularly if trucks cannot brake in time.
  • Altered traffic flow: Unfamiliar routes and detours can confuse drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Limited visibility: Construction equipment and barriers can obstruct your view of the road ahead and oncoming traffic.
  • Confusing signs or instructions by construction workers: Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do or where to go because signs or directions from construction workers are unclear. Sometimes there is no one directing traffic, which could make a crash more likely.
  • Distracted, reckless or drunk drivers: These drivers are dangerous anywhere, but especially in a construction zone. There is less time and room to react to other drivers or changes in the flow of traffic. Some drivers either do not see the signs or simply ignore them. Other drivers are too impaired to react appropriately to help prevent a collision.
  • Dirt, dust or debris:Dirt, dust or debris have the potential to obstruct your view of the road, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Weather conditions: Rain, icy roads, wind and other weather conditions can make it harder to see or maneuver safely, especially in a construction zone.
  • Uneven lanes: Sometimes one lane is higher than another, which can be destabilizing for large vehicles like commercial trucks.

How Truck Drivers Could Be Held Liable for Construction Zone Crashes

Truck drivers, like drivers of all vehicles, have a legal duty to apply caution and follow the rules of the road. However, unlike other drivers, they have many other responsibilities. For example, if they do not properly secure the cargo in the trailer, it could cause them to lose control of the truck or tip over.

They also have hours of service regulations designed to prevent them from driving for too many hours in a row. Violating these rules can lead to fatigue, which impairs drivers’ ability to react quickly to danger.

Drunk driving is illegal for everyone, but commercial truck drivers have stricter regulations. Drunk driving is particularly dangerous for them because it is more difficult to correct mistakes. These mistakes become magnified in construction zones.

There are a variety of maintenance issues that could spring up with commercial trucks, and sometimes drivers are aware of these issues, but they refuse to get off the road. This could make them liable if there is a crash because of a maintenance issue.

Truck drivers could also be held liable for continuing to drive in severe weather, such as a snowstorm or on a road covered in ice. This could be viewed as negligence because continuing to drive a commercial truck in this kind of weather may be seen as unreasonably dangerous.

Who Else Could Be Held Liable for a Construction Zone Truck Crash?

Sometimes there are other parties besides truck drivers who could be held liable for a construction zone truck crash:

  • Trucking companies: If the company failed to ensure the vehicle was in good condition or pressured the driver to meet unrealistic deadlines, it may have liability for the crash.
  • Construction companies: These entities may be liable if poor planning, inadequate signage or poor training of workers contributed to the accident.
  • Vehicle manufacturers: Defective engine parts or other components, such as brakes or tires, may have contributed to the crash. In these situations, manufacturers may have liability.
  • Government entities: If the design or maintenance of the construction zone was inherently unsafe, victims may have a claim against a government entity.

Call Schmidt Kramer Today To Discuss a Truck Crash Claim

At Schmidt Kramer, we have a deep commitment to victims of personal injuries, including those involved in truck crashes in road construction zones.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a truck crash in a Pennsylvania, we can explore your potential legal options at no upfront cost. Schmidt Kramer is here to support and guide you through every step of the legal process.

Call to schedule a free initial legal consultation. Phone: (717) 727-1837.