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HKQ Firm News

CAR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES & WORK ZONES

Pennsylvania has over a quarter million miles of public roads, streets and toll roads. At times, it seems that most of those miles are lined with orange cones. Once we escape the grip of winter, we’ll see a constant stream of construction vehicles on our roads.

Dangers on the Road

Construction vehicles pose a clear danger to motorists. They are substantially bigger and heavier than passenger vehicles. They require longer distances to stop, making rear end collisions more likely. When construction vehicles collide with another vehicle, a tremendous amount of kinetic energy is released. Both vehicles are subject to the same force at impact, however, an automobile’s much smaller mass (3,750 pounds on average) leads to it experiencing higher acceleration. The sudden change in acceleration can result in serious injuries or death.

Different types of construction vehicles present unique hazards. The loose materials carried by dump trucks can fall on other vehicles resulting in serious injuries. With their high center of gravity, concrete mixer trucks are prone to rollovers, even at speeds as low as 5 mph. Concrete pump trucks can exceed 50 feet in length and weigh in excess of 75,000 pounds. Accidents with these enormous vehicles often result in wide-spread destruction involving multiple vehicles and fatalities. Trucks hauling “superloads” such as steel bridge beams weighing over 200,000 pounds and as long as a football field have the potential for catastrophic accidents in the event that the load shifts.

More Dangers in the Work Zone

HKQ Law personal injury attorney Christopher Quinn cautions that “there are additional perils in the work zone. Certain conditions increase the likelihood of accidents in those zones.”

Work zone accidents include:

  • rear-end crashes
  • sideswipe collisions
  • collisions with construction vehicles entering or exiting the construction site
  • collisions with construction equipment

Circumstances that can contribute to work zone accidents include:

  • insufficient signage
  • improper lighting
  • routes that necessitate sudden or dangerous maneuvers
  • uneven pavement
  • confusing detours
  • inattentive flag attendant
  • debris left on the roadway
  • workers or equipment too close to traffic
  • equipment malfunctions (e.g., the boom on a concrete pump truck can collapse posing grave danger to anyone within a 200 foot radius.)

Drivers’ actions that contribute to work zone collisions include:

  • speeding
  • distracted driving
  • improper merging
  • ignoring construction signs and signals

Liability for accidents caused by a construction vehicle

There are a number of potential defendants, including:

  • driver of the vehicle
  • owner of the vehicle
  • truck driver’s employer
  • company leasing the vehicle
  • owner of the leasing company
  • maintenance and repair service companies
  • manufacturer of vehicle, trailer, or components
  • governmental agencies responsible for road conditions

Liability for construction zone accidents

Potential defendants include the government entity or construction company managing the work zone, the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident, or in the case of a malfunctioning or defective product, the manufacturer of that product. It is important to note that government agencies are protected by immunity. In Pennsylvania, however, the Sovereign Immunity Act provides exceptions where immunity will not apply.

Cases involving construction vehicles or construction zones can be quite complex, requiring the attention of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in either type of accident, call HKQ Law at (800) 760-1529 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at www.HKQLaw.com or by calling (800) 760-1529.

				

 

As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.


These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.

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