St. Louis Construction Zone Truck Accidents
Commercial trucks, including big rigs, 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and semis, can pose a serious threat when they crash on the open highway. These accidents are especially dangerous when traveling through construction zones.
While work zones are critical to the maintenance and upgrade of St. Louis roads, they’re also a challenge as they cause daily changes in traffic patterns. Often, the narrowing of most roads in response to construction taking place in these zones is common, creating a combination of factors that contribute to crashes, injuries, and deaths due to the constrained driving environment.
An example of the aforementioned is a $62 million St. Charles County project to improve I-70. Businesses cite that reducing the lanes to just a single path will reduce the number of patrons visiting their storefronts. On the other hand, commuters are fearful of the long commute that comes with having workmen on the interstate. However, perhaps the most severe hazard of a one-lane interstate is the heightened risk for accidents due to confusion or impatient or aggressive driving.
The road construction and accompanying lane reduction on I-70 are happening in the wake of a January crash on I-270 in West St. Louis County, involving a MoDOT truck, in which a 23-year-old Lincoln County man died. An additional incident following the fatal January crash, also involving a commercial vehicle in a work zone, occurred in April when a motorist slammed into a MoDOT vehicle on the I-64 in St. Louis. These incidents represent just a sample of the construction zone accidents on St. Louis highways.
If you or your loved one sustained injuries or you lost a family member after a construction zone truck accident, the St. Louis personal injury attorneys at NST Law want to hear from you. We can evaluate your case and determine your eligibility for compensation so that you can hold the liable party accountable and help your family heal from the financial burdens that accompany the aftermath of a tragic accident.
How common are construction zone truck accidents in St. Louis?
In 2020, passenger and other vehicles struck MoDOT construction vehicles a total of 48 times. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, collisions with these specialized construction vehicles or protective vehicles called truck/trailer-mounted attenuators (TMAs), used routinely by the government transportation agency within work zones, contributed to 32 injuries and one death within the Northeast District of Missouri.
A portion of these incidents included safety and traffic engineers working within the construction area confines. One maintenance worker involved in a 2020 incident said a vehicle crashed into his TMA at 70 mph, seemingly ignoring the posted signage and flashing lights. The TMA went underneath the driver’s truck.
Distracted driving, driving too fast for construction zone conditions, and truck driver negligence are primary causes of these accidents. According to the above-linked news article, State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood said that mostly due to poor choices behind the wheel, 27 people died in work zone crashes in 2020.
The problem isn’t specific to Missouri, though. Work zone crashes have been steadily increasing across the United States since 2013. The most recent data shows that 30% of deadly accidents and 12% of work zone injuries involved at least one truck.
Why do truck crashes happen in work zones?
The laws governing construction zones intend to ensure easy navigation for motorists. Still, work zone accidents can happen due to:
- Improper work zone setup
- Negligence on the part of the workers
- Incorrect, misplaced, or lack of warning signage
- No speed limit markers
- Loose gravel or debris on the road
- Poor lighting obstructing the driver’s view
- Steep drop-offs where the motor vehicle loses control
- The presence of tools or heavy machinery on the roadway
Who’s at fault for truck accidents happening in construction zones in St. Louis?
Despite warning signs and signals and other required precautions, truck accidents within construction zones still happen. To file a successful accident claim, you must determine and assign liability properly. Specifically, you want to understand who’s responsible for the accident that led to your injuries, property damage, and other losses.
A personal injury lawyer can investigate your accident thoroughly to discover if liability falls on the construction company, road crew, construction workers, truck drivers, the construction site owner, or the general or sub-general contractors. Also, there have been situations in which the manufacturers of construction machinery are liable. Finally, other drivers might be responsible for truck accidents in St. Louis construction zones if they do not adhere to speed limits or pay attention to signage, contributing to a collision.
Protecting Yourself From Truck Accidents in St. Louis Construction Zones
To help protect yourself from construction zone truck accidents or serious injuries resulting from one, you can stay off your phone and wear a seatbelt. Data from 2020 shows that 74% of occupants in passenger vehicles killed in work zone crashes failed to buckle up.
Finally, following the speed limit is paramount. MoDOT has been proactive in reducing the number of injuries resulting from truck accidents in area construction zones. OPERATION PROTECT is a collaboration between MoDOT and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to enforce the speed limits in work zones throughout the state.
As an additional measure, MoDOT has piloted the use of real-time digital alerts, Makeway Safety, and HAAS Alert so that the MoDOT vehicles operating in construction zones can send alerts to motorists, giving drivers a heads-up about the approaching work zone. You can also refer to the Traveler Information Map to find out what work zones you might encounter during your commute.
St. Louis Construction Zone Truck Accident Lawyers
Following a truck accident, you’re likely uncertain about how you’ll pay your medical bills, how long it’ll take for you to return to work, and who you should hold responsible for the injuries from the crash resulting in your injuries. If you lost a family member due to a truck driver’s negligence in a construction zone, you’re likely grieving your loss while also determining how to survive financially without their income or how to afford a proper funeral to honor your loved one.
A St. Louis truck accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation to ease the financial burdens placed on you suddenly and unexpectedly. This type of lawyer handles personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits to compensate the injured party for incurred damages. Your attorney can evaluate your case, determine its viability and accompanying value, and negotiate for a settlement or advocate for a financial award in the courtroom on your behalf.
To substantiate your claim, they will gather needed evidentiary support, including medical records, employment or payroll records showing lost wages or a loss of income, police reports, and other documents relevant to proving your allegations that hold the opposing party accountable for their negligent or wrong actions.
When choosing a lawyer, you should consider their proven track record for success representing accident victims and securing fair settlements or verdicts. At NST Law, our attorneys are passionate about what they do, and we strive to always protect our clients’ rights and make them as whole as possible following a devastating accident.
Why should I hire NST Law after a construction zone truck accident in St. Louis?
Construction zone truck accidents can have tragic and severe consequences, resulting in extensive losses, permanent disability, death, and other life-altering outcomes. We understand that your life can change in the blink of an eye. Therefore, we commit to a client-centered approach to provide as much compassion to you and attention to your case as necessary to pursue economic justice on your behalf. As your legal team, we will provide you with sound legal advice to ensure fair compensation for your injuries.
Additionally, if we commit to taking on your case, you won’t pay us a fee until we obtain the compensation you need to aid in your healing, providing us the incentive to succeed. We support our clients with the same tenacity we show in supporting our communities.
You and your family no longer have to suffer through the financial ramifications of a construction zone truck accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.