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Personal injury risks in construction zones

Following the recent National Work Zone Awareness week, authorities in California likely hope that this program will bring about safer work zones -- for both vehicle operators and construction workers. Reportedly, the average number of lives lost in construction zones nationwide each year exceeded 700. Statistics show that commercial motor vehicles are involved in a significant percentage work zone accidents that result in personal injury or worse.

Safety authorities urge automobile drivers to avoid construction zones when possible or take additional care when travelling through such zones. This applies especially when they share the restricted roadways in construction zones with commercial trucks, 18-wheelers, buses and other large vehicles. Staying alert and heeding the posted warning signs about speed limits, lane changes and additional information can go a long way in avoiding accidents.

Slowing down while driving through the construction zone does not make it an ideal time to check Facebook, read emails, eat, drink and take care of other activities. Some of the most frequently reported accidents in work zones are rear-end accidents, and keeping safe following distances is crucial. It is not uncommon for lane changes to be made as the work progresses, and even drivers who travel through a particular work zone every day may be caught unaware by lane changes.

Construction zone accidents can cause personal injury or death to occupants of vehicles as well as construction workers. When someone's negligence leads to accidents, that party, the vehicle owner and other entities might have to face civil lawsuits filed by injured victims or surviving family members of deceased victims. If the victim is a construction worker, there might be grounds for a third-party claim as well as a workers' compensation claim. Securing the services of an attorney with experience in both civil lawsuits and the California workers' compensation system can be invaluable throughout the ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of financial relief.

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