Roadway work zones are hazardous both for motorists who drive through the complex array of signs, barrels, and lane changes and for workers who build, repair, and maintain our Nation’s streets, bridges and highways.
David Butts Law Firm recently settled a work zone (or construction zone) accident representing two passengers who suffered severe personal injury in a vehicle which rear-ended a water truck servicing road grinders on I- 55 South in Jackson, Mississippi (filed in Hinds County, MS). The driver and another occupant of the vehicle were killed. The case against the sub-contractor was filed in the Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi.
The four occupants of the vehicle were southbound on I-55, having traveled through Jackson, Mississippi, on a trip to Louisiana. The speed limit, usually 70 miles per hour, was reduced to 60 miles per hour through the construction zone.
All indications were that the driver of the passenger vehicle complied with the warning / constructions signs. One thing the driver of the vehicle could not anticipate, or see, was that a water truck, which serviced the asphalt grinders resurfacing road further south, would use not an “exit” and “ramp” to rejoin the southbound bound traffic, but would use the “Official and Emergency Vehicles Only” cross-over to get into the south-bound lane and head south to the grinders he services.
The proof showed that this sub-contractor, nor the prime contractor, had permission from the Mississippi Department of Transportation to use this cross-over.
The driver of the water truck was shaving a few miles off his trip to save fuel and get to the job site earlier. His decision, with the permission of his superiors, was to have tragic consequences for four young people. His heavily loaded truck could not get up to highway speed and there was no warning that trucks would be entering the highway where he did. As the terrain was rolling hills, our driver was unable to anticipate that there would suddenly appear in front of him a water truck, loaded with 5,000 gallons of water, traveling at a very low speed.
Typically, when one vehicle rear ends another, it is presumed that the rear-ending driver was negligent. Here, Mississippi Attorney David Butts was able to prove that it was not the fault of the driver, but the driver of the truck, who should never have used the “Official and Emergency Vehicles Only” cross-over to get into the high speed single lane of travel for passenger and other vehicles not involved in the construction zone work. The settlement amount was required to be confidential.
But not only is the traffic moving through a work zone is in danger of a tragic result. Workers in these zones are also at risk from drivers ignoring the many warning signs. In either event, too many people have lost their lives or suffered serious injury from the negligence of others. For more information on highway safety and work zone traffic statistics – check out the CDC resources here.
David Butts Law Firm knows the rules, regulations, industry practices and elements of negligence in these cases. EXPERIENCE MAKES A DIFFERENCE.