A construction zone creates an abnormal traffic pattern. Drivers may not be used to the special rules that are in place in the construction zone. Some drivers may try to get ahead by driving recklessly. In short, construction zones can be dangerous. Limited traffic lanes, merging, and speed-limit changes can all result in traffic accidents in construction zones.
Can you sue after an accident in a construction zone? What are your rights when you’re hurt in a construction zone accident? Our Las Vegas car accident attorneys want you to know about construction zone accidents in Nevada.
Nevada Construction Zone Accidents
When a driver is responsible for a construction zone accident in Nevada, they face enhanced penalties. Drivers may face double the maximum penalties for the underlying traffic offense. A driver, a government entity, or even the construction company may be legally liable for the accident. If you’re the victim of a construction zone accident, you may be eligible to bring a claim for financial compensation.
Work Zone Fatalities 2017
In 2017, there were 799 work zone fatalities in the United States. In total, there were 710 fatal accidents in construction zones in the United States that produced 799 deaths. Work zone fatalities include pedestrians and bicyclists as well as motor vehicle drivers and construction workers. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, 80 percent of the people killed in work zones are drivers and passengers.
Are Fines Doubled in a Construction Zone in Nevada?
Yes, fines are doubled in a construction zone in Nevada. Nevada law 484B.130 says that a person who commits a traffic offense in a construction zone faces double penalties for the offense. The person may receive double jail time and fines up to an additional six months or $1,000 in addition to the penalty for the original offense.
Nevada Revised Statutes 484b.130 – Double Penalties in Traffic Zones
Nevada law calls for double penalties for traffic offenses committed in a construction zone. The court may impose double the penalty for the primary offense. The penalty is in addition to the sentence for the underlying offense.
For example, the penalty for texting and driving in Nevada is $50. But if the offense happens in a construction zone, the maximum penalty is $100 for a first offense. Even if the penalty includes jail time, the possible jail time may be doubled.
Traffic Zone Double Penalties Run Consecutively
The double penalty for a construction zone traffic offense runs consecutively to the original penalty. That means that if the offender gets double jail time, they can’t serve both sentences at once. For example, if the driver gets 10 days in jail for the underlying offense, and 10 days in jail because it’s in a construction zone, they must serve 20 days in jail total.
The opposite of consecutive sentencing is concurrent sentencing. Concurrent sentencing may be possible when a person is convicted of multiple offenses at once. However, when an offense in a construction zone results in a double penalty, the offender must serve each penalty wholly and separately.
Who Is Responsible for an Accident in a Construction Zone?
When an accident occurs in a construction zone, several parties may be legally responsible:
Drivers on the road – All drivers have a duty to exercise care and caution on the road at all times. The amount of caution that’s required depends on the situation. Of course, in a construction zone, drivers must use high amounts of care. When an accident occurs because a driver isn’t cautious, the driver may be liable to construction workers as well as liable to other drivers and passengers for their injuries.
Construction companies – Just like drivers must be careful on the road, the construction company must be cautious as they go about their work. For example, they have a duty to store machinery out of harm’s way. They must carefully plan the construction project, provide adequate signage, and direct traffic around obstacles as appropriate. If you’re an injured driver or passenger in a construction accident, the construction company may be legally at fault for the accident.
Government entities – The construction company works on behalf of the government. When a construction accident occurs, it may ultimately be the legal fault of the government entity. There may be some special rules that apply when you bring your claim for compensation against a government agency.
Pedestrians and bicyclists – Even a pedestrian or bicyclist may be legally responsible for a construction zone accident. Although they may not be in a vehicle, pedestrians and bicyclists still have a duty of care for others on the roads. A pedestrian or bicyclist may owe you financial compensation if their actions contribute to an accident in a construction zone.
Can I Win Financial Compensation for a Construction Zone Accident?
In Nevada, you may deserve financial compensation when you’re injured in a construction zone accident. Negligence laws that protect accident victims apply in construction zones. Whether you’re an injured worker, an individual in another vehicle, or on foot, you have the right to compensation when you’re hurt because of the negligent actions of another.
To receive compensation, you must bring a claim. Even if the person responsible gets a traffic ticket or criminal charges, the criminal system cannot give a victim the full range of compensation that they may deserve. Nevada is an at-fault state for motor vehicle accidents. That means you may deserve compensation for financial losses, physical pain, and emotional anguish. You may also deserve financial compensation if you’re unable to work in the same capacity as you did before the accident.
Las Vegas Car Accident Attorneys
Have you been hurt in a construction zone accident? Our Nevada attorneys for construction zone car accidents can help. With a team of legal professionals, we have the training, experience, and determination to fight for justice for you when you’re hurt in a construction zone accident. We represent construction zone workers, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
To win compensation, you must bring a case. Our professionals are aggressive advocates. We can help you with every step of the case. Call us today for a complimentary consultation about your claim.