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Illinois Road Construction Zone Accident Lawyers

Illinois-highway-construction-accidentIt is said that Chicago has two seasons: winter and road construction. Indeed, road construction in the Chicagoland area is a necessary constant as our climate, and heavy traffic usage necessitates ongoing roadwork and maintenance to keep streets safe and drivable. While we have become accustomed to seeing cones and construction horses parked along the side of the roadway, drivers need to be aware that despite their prevalence, accidents in road construction zones pose a danger to both motorists and road construction crews alike.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents motorists and workers injured in motor vehicle accidents in Illinois road construction zones. Due to the congested nature of these areas, these collisions frequently involve multiple parties and significant injuries. Regardless of the Illinois jurisdiction, our team of attorneys stands ready to assist you with your case to achieve maximum recovery for you. Complete our online contact form for a free case review with an experienced attorney.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) defines a work zone as;

"A work zone is an area of a traffic way where construction, maintenance, or utility work activities are identified by warning signs, signals, and indicators, including those on transport devices that mark the beginning and end of construction, maintenance, or utility work activity. It extends from the first warning sign, signal or flashing lights to the END ROAD WORK sign or the last traffic control device pertinent for that work activity. Work zones also include roadway sections where there is ongoing, moving work activity such as lane line painting or roadside mowing only if the beginning of the ongoing, moving work activity is designated by warning signs or signals. A work zone crash is a motor vehicle traffic crash in which the first harmful event occurs within the boundaries of a work zone, or an approach to or exit from a work zone, resulting in activity, behavior, or control related to the movement of the traffic units through the work zone."

Understandably, the State has carefully defined a road construction work zone due to the rate of serious road construction accidents that take place in these areas every year. According to crash data from IDOT relating to work zone crashes in 2017,

  • Of 5,423 reported traffic accidents reported within a designated work zone along Illinois roadways, 1,435 people were injured, and 30 people lost their lives in crashes
  • Roadwork zone accidents have decreased substantially over the past four years of available data. The reports suggest that injuries and fatalities have been reduced by 16% and 11.4%, respectively, between 2013 and 2017.

Injuries to Motorists in Illinois Highway Construction Accidents

Speed and driver inattentiveness are primary factors involved in traffic accidents occurring in roadway construction areas. When drivers fail to abide by reduced speed limits or take notice of redirected traffic flow, collisions involving injuries can quickly happen. Inattention creates an environment where there is practically nothing a motorist can do to avoid an impending collision in a congested work area.

To help improve the safety of drivers and passengers, the AAMVA Model Driver Manual suggests the following:

  • Watch the traffic around you and be prepared to react by reducing your speed, obeying signs and flaggers, and increasing your following distance.
  • Do not become oblivious to work zone signs when the work is long-term or widespread. Be aware that traffic patterns in work zones can change daily, including lane shifts or alternating lane closures, to create a safe work environment.
  • If traffic is light and speeds are still relatively high, merge early. If congestion increases, traffic slows down, and gaps between cars get smaller, merge late and use the “zipper” method.
  • Use extreme caution when driving through a work zone at night, whether workers are present or not. Watch the road, and don’t use cell phones.
  • Adjust your lane position away from the side where workers and equipment are located when possible.
  • Some construction zones are mobile and moving, such as when line painting, road patching, or mowing are occurring. Just because you do not see the construction workers after you see the warning sign does not mean crews are not there. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says, “End of Road Work.”
  • Expect delays, plan for them, and leave early to reach your destination on time.
  • When you can, avoid construction zones altogether by using alternate routes.

Injuries to Workers During Road Construction

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 20,000 skilled workers are injured every year on roadway construction job sites. Over the past five years, more than 115 workers have lost their lives while working on highway projects, accounting for more than 1.5% of all work-related fatalities.

Statistics reveal that machinery is a significant factor in work zone accidents involving construction crews, large trucks, truck drivers, and passenger cars.

  • Runovers/backovers (often by dump trucks): 48%
  • Collision Between Vehicles / Mobile Equipment: 14%
  • Caught in Between/Struck by Construction Equipment and Objects: 14%
  • Rear-end collisions (6%)

Illinois Road Construction Law

As a recognized threat to the safety of motorists and skilled workers, the Illinois legislature has adapted some of the most comprehensive highway construction safety laws in the country.

(625 ILCS 5/11-605.1)

Sec. 11-605.1. Special limit while traveling through a highway construction or maintenance speed zone.

(a) A person may not operate a motor vehicle in a construction or maintenance speed zone at a speed in excess of the posted speed limit.


(b) Nothing in this Chapter prohibits the use of electronic speed-detecting devices within 500 feet of signs within a construction or maintenance speed zone indicating the zone, as defined in this Section, nor shall evidence obtained by use of those devices be inadmissible in any prosecution for speeding, provided the use of the device shall apply only to the enforcement of the speed limit in the construction or maintenance speed zone
"

Drivers who fail to adhere to this law are subject to an initial fine of $375 for speeding in a work zone. Repeat offenders face a $1,000 fine. If a driver is cited more than two times within two years, they may lose their driver’s license for 90 days. The penalties for speeding in an Illinois roadway construction zone increase substantially when an accident ensures as a driver is subject to a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence depending on the nature of the crash.

Illinois Highway Construction Accident Attorneys

The car accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are well aware of the dangers posed to motorists and construction workers in highway construction zones. Depending on the nature of the accident, a legal claim for damages may be pursued against various parties who may be responsible for a construction zone accident including:
  • The driver of a vehicle
  • Construction companies
  • Safety inspection companies
  • Local governmental entities
It is our goal to thoroughly investigate all avenues of recovery to provide the best results for our clients. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has Chicago highway construction accident lawyers with experience investigating work zone accident scenes and litigating the inherent complexities involved when there are multiple parties responsible for an accident.

Investigators, insurance companies, or the Illinois state police may have expressed their opinion on how your accident occurred. However, Jonathan Rosenfeld will evaluate each circumstance to determine which party’s negligence may be responsible for your injuries. Particularly in highway repair accidents involving governmental entities, it is essential to conduct a thorough investigation as soon as feasible. The statute of limitations may have shortened time for filing a lawsuit compared with other types of personal injury cases.

Victims of construction zone accidents should speak to a highway construction accident attorney today at (888) 424-5757. Let our law firm begin the process of getting full compensation for your injuries.

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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
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