I recently sustained a whiplash injury after a car rear-ended my vehicle at a makeshift traffic light, who is liable for accidents caused by road works?
Eoin P. Campbell, LL.B., Solicitor
Editor in Chief
While claiming for accidents caused by road works may be possible if you have been the victim of negligence, determining liability for your injury can sometimes be difficult. Each road user owes you a duty of care to avoid injuries from road works, and each road worker must also perform an adequate duty of care towards drivers. Your claim for road works injury can be made if one – or both – of these parties failed to perform this duty of care and you sustained an injury as a consequence. In order to help establish liability for your compensation for road works accident, you are strongly advised to contact a personal injury solicitor at the first available opportunity to assess your accident and injury and determine whether your claim is worth pursuing.
Accidents caused by road works may have been the result of the careless actions – or inactions – of road workers if they have been negligent in their duties. Vehicles – when passing through areas in which work is being performed on the road – must use extra caution to avoid injuries from road works occurring, and this should be indicated by equipment such as safety cones, traffic lights and speed signs where they can be clearly seen. If the required safety precautions are not used, are not clearly visible or are incorrect and an accident occurs as a result, a claim for road works injury can be initiated as the workers have been negligent in their duty of care. In this situation, compensation for road works accident will be sought against the worker’s employer – possibly the local council.
However it is also possible that the road workers have performed their duty of care without failure, in which case a claim for accidents caused by road works may be initiated against the insurance policy of the negligent driver in question. It may have been the situation that your injuries from road works were sustained despite traffic lights and speed signs being clearly erected to alert drivers of the hazards which existed. A claim for road works injury would then be possible if the driver who rear-ended your vehicle was negligent in their own duty of care, failing to notice – or ignoring – the precautionary measures in place. You may be entitled to compensation for road works accident in this scenario as the victim of negligence.
Liability for a claim for road works injury is not always easy to establish, and it is possible that one party may attempt to blame the other for your accident and injuries. For this reason, you are advised to consult a personal injury solicitor to first assess your compensation for road works accident and help determine which party is liable for your injury. Your solicitor will analyse the circumstances which resulted in your injuries from road works, examine evidence which may be available and advise you on whether your claim is worth pursuing further. Accidents caused by road works can sometimes be complex to assess, and because of this you are advised to contact a personal injury solicitor at the earliest opportunity following your injury.