In 2019, Merced County is the fasted growing region in California, and the trend is expected to continue. County and city officials cite the low cost of housing and infrastructure expansion as reasons for the growth. The Atwater Merced Expressway that helps connect both Atwater and Merced and providing a quicker commute for residents and is scheduled to be done in 2023.
When finished, even more construction will ensue as the new infrastructure will draw more development to the area. Unfortunately, with all this growth and construction comes injuries that happen in construction zones.
Highway Construction Accidents
When driving in a road construction zone, accidents happen, and it’s not always clear who is at fault. Sometimes it’s business as usual and the accident would have happened with or without the construction zone.
Other times, the problem could be caused or contributed to by the construction itself. There are many scenarios such as poor or no signage, or the flow of traffic was mishandled. When any of these happen, then the fault might fully or partially be with the construction company.
City or County Liability
Ultimately, most highway construction zones are on streets owned by the state or another layer of government like county or city. Under California law, if the state had any negligence through their employees or agents (contractors and subcontractors) then suing the state is possible.
Not all construction accidents happen while driving in construction zones. There are building sites and other construction underway all over Merced. Anytime these are open to the public, then a construction accident can happen to members of the public.
Under California premises liability law, the owner of the area under construction has a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe so people can enter and use the premises without undue risk of injury. If the owner fails in that duty and a hazard is created whereby someone is injured, then the owner can be sued for compensation.
Defenses to Premise Liability
Just because someone is injured on another’s property doesn’t mean that the owner is negligent. The law allows the owner to show they made reasonable steps to keep the place safe and to respond to any hazards as they came up. The law allows the owner a reasonable time to address any problems without being held liable.
Types of Construction Injuries
There are many ways to get hurt when in a construction site. Falling debris, scaffolds or ladders, slips or trips and falls, electricity, chemicals and a host of other hazards. With these accidents come certain injuries that are commonly seen by EMS and other medical providers, some of them are:
- Broken Bones
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Severe Bruises
- Hip Injuries
- Wrist Injuries
- Eye Injuries
- Fire and Chemical Burns
If the court finds that the construction site owner didn’t do what a reasonable owner would do to keep the area safe, then the law can compensate the injured person for their financial losses. Some of these common losses that can be awarded are:
- Medical Bills
- Rehab Treatment/Equipment
- Lost Time from Work
- Future Lost Time from Work
- Permanent Disability/Disfigurement
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium (Intimacy, affection etc.)
Contact a Merced Personal Injury Lawyer.
After any construction zone accident involving a serious injury in Merced, contact attorney Martin Gasparian for a free consultation and case evaluation. Mr. Gasparian takes a hands-on approach to every case. He believes that every client should work directly with their lawyer, get honest advice and the personalized attention to detail their case deserves.