Can a lawyer recover damages for someone injured by a defective road condition in a work Zone? Based upon a recent Missouri personal injury verdict in a case pending in Lafayette County, the answer is yes. Because our Missouri injury attorneys constantly keep abreast of personal injury laws in Missouri, we are aware a jury recently found the Missouri Department of Transportation liable for an uneven lip in the road within a construction zone, which caused a motorcycle rider to suffer severe injury. In that particular Missouri motorcycle accident, the rider came upon the construction zone where a short section of state maintained roadway was uneven between the driving lane and the passing lane. When the motorcycle operator attempted to pass a tractor-trailer and moved from the driving lane to the passing lane, the motorcycle encountered a difference of a few inches between the lanes. The lip caused the driver of the motorcycle to lose control. his motorcycle.
While prior Missouri cases clearly established an injured person’s right to recover for defective conditions existing on public highways, to our knowledge this is the first case where an injured person recovered for a defective conditions existing within a work zone.
Each year, thousands of miles of highway in the state of Missouri are in need of repair. Typically, large construction projects on Missouri’s highways are undertaken in the summertime. Because of Missouri’s extreme variations in temperature from the summer months to the winter months, our roadways take a significant amount of abuse. In fact, the Missouri Department of Transportation spent a reported 5.3 Billion Dollars in 2007 to construct, maintain and repair our highways.
As always, it is very important to be aware of highway work zones as these areas can pose hidden dangers to motorists. In addition, highway workers are at risk of being struck by passing vehicles. For this reason, always slow down in work zones and proceed with caution.
If you have a question about work zone accidents in Missouri, feel free to contact one of our St. Louis personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.