Although Indiana’s motto — “Crossroads of America” — originally referred to river transportation and early land routes, it’s even more appropriate today.

Indianapolis Highway Safety

Increased Accident Risk
How hazardous are work zones?
Who is in danger in work zones?
What causes work zone accidents?
Who is responsible for work zone injuries and deaths?
Accident Litigation Considerations

Indiana has more miles of Interstate Highway per square mile than any other state in the nation. Fourteen interstates crisscross Indiana — I-64, I-65, I-69, I-70, I-74, I-80, I-90, I-94, I-164, I-265, I-275, I-465, I-469, I-865 — as well as untold numbers of state roads. While all of these roads make for convenient connections and bring travelers and revenue into the state, they also are the site of injury and death for tens of thousands of motorists each year.

There are nearly 30,000 miles of highways in Indiana. According to Smart Growth America, a national organization advocating for wise decisions in community planning, 41% of Indiana’s roads have “fallen out of good condition.” They say that Indiana would need to spend $650 million annually for the next twenty years to get the current backlog of poor-condition major roads into a state of good repair and maintain all state-owned roads in good condition.

Increased Accident Risk

At McNeely Stephenson, an Indianapolis personal injury law firm focusing on motor vehicle accidents, we know these facts contribute to wrecks in two ways:

(1) dangerously poor road conditions can cause a crash, and

(2) work zones, where construction and repair activities are taking place, present hazards in and of themselves.

If you have been involved in a crash anywhere in Indiana, we can help you obtain compensation to pay for expenses such as medical treatment, loss of income, and reduced earning capacity — and we’ll do that by discovering all parties who contributed to the accident, including contractors and highway agencies. Call us at 1-855-206-2555 for a free consultation about your Indiana work zone accident or contact us online.

How hazardous are work zones?

Nationally, each year nearly 1,000 fatalities and 43,000 serious injuries occur in vehicle accidents in work zones. In 2013, 13 people were killed and more than 300 were injured in Indiana Department of Transportation work zones. By Labor Day of 2014, INDOT was reporting 1,379 crashes in highway work zones, in which there were six fatalities.

Who is in danger in work zones?

You would expect that road construction and repair personnel would be in danger of being hit by a moving vehicle. In the United States, about 130 workers die each year in road construction activities. Of this total, approximately 23% of the fatalities are due to pedestrian workers being struck by road traffic. McNeely Stephenson has an excellent track record of advocating for victims of workplace accidents.

But you might be surprised to learn that four out of five people killed in work zones are motorists, not highway workers.

What causes work zone accidents?

Some work zone crashes result from the same kind of negligent behavior that endangers people on any road: speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, reckless lane changes, failure to yield right of way, and so on.

But work zones themselves may have characteristics that cause wrecks:

  • Obstructed view
  • Confusing, improper or lack of signage
  • Confusing traffic control devices
  • Hazards on or next to the road
  • Pavement drop-off
  • Inadequate pavement markings
  • Lack of decreased speed limit
  • Channeling devices
  • Narrow lanes
  • Frequent merge areas
  • Barriers
  • Distracting pedestrians, such as flaggers.

Who is responsible for work zone injuries and deaths?

There are often multiple defendants in work zone lawsuits. In addition to other motorists who were negligent, at McNeely Stephenson we investigate the details of the crash site to determine the potential liability of one or more of the following:

  • Government highway agency
  • Highway agency’s traffic control designer
  • Highway agency’s construction contractor
  • Highway contractor’s subcontractor
  • Inspection consultant
  • Individual employees of the above.

Accident Litigation Considerations

A work zone victim may allege that the zone was improperly designed; that elements such as barriers were improperly installed; that the area was not well maintained; that the plan was inconsistent with existing standards; that drivers were not given positive guidance; and/or that the addition or removal of certain traffic control devices would have been safer.

Recently, an accident in a Pennsylvania work zone led to a $15.8 million verdict for the family of a severely injured woman. The lawsuit named the construction contractor, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, as well as a speeding motorist. It alleged that the construction zone was dangerous because it lacked rumble strips, message displays and failure to prohibit turns, and that no improvements had been made in the area despite previous collisions there.

McNeely Stephenson — trusted advisors, proven advocates.

Indianapolis Lawsuit Settlement Amounts

If you’ve been injured in an accident where there was construction or maintenance on one of the crossroads of America, call McNeely Stephenson in Indianapolis — 1-855-206-2555 or request a free consult. We’re devoted to traversing the crossroads to justice and have been since 1981.