Road construction injures many people every year. There are injuries to the construction workers as well as to the drivers that go through the construction zones. There are also a variety of injuries to non-construction workers that can occur.
As a general rule of thumb, if there was not an injury to the driver or one of the passengers in the car, damages can’t be claimed. Even if the driver was upset or nervous afterwards, damages cannot be claimed. Typically, cases like this would be straightforward insurance claims to pay for the repairs to the car or paying for repairs out of pocket.
This changes if the driver can prove that the company created a dangerous condition and that a significant injury was caused. Another option is showing that the vehicle sustained large amounts of damage. If this cannot be done, the driver may be limited and up against resistance to pay.
In one situation, a woman encountered road work with no flag man available, no detours, and no other way to pass than to go under a conveyor belt. When driving under the conveyor belt, the vehicle was pelted with mud and small rocks. The estimated damage to the car was under $500. The construction company turned down her claim. The insurance company told her that the other pre-existing, unrelated marks and dents would make it hard to prove that they were from the construction company. As a result, the insurance company wouldn’t cover the repairs.
The woman’s attorney pointed out that she had the option of going to small claims court. This would not require an attorney and could possibly result in reimbursement. The woman decided it wasn’t worth the time. If small claims court is chosen, it is important to bring photos and the estimates for repair. Even if there is a victory, it is the injured party’s responsibility to collect.
If the car damage is significant, it is important to follow through. If there is anxiety that resulted in seeking professional help, it can be added to the construction company’s bill.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a construction zone, contact the Lake Geneva personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 1-800-275-1729 to learn more about your legal options.