Road Traffic Accident Claims

When A Road Traffic Accident Becomes An Accident At Work

The vast majority of injury compensation claims comes from road traffic accidents. Thousands of people every year claim for whiplash injuries, injuries as a result of car crashes and even slips, trips and falls on the road. But there is also another side to this story – road traffic accidents that can also be classed as ‘accidents at work’.

Roads Are A Workplace For Many

The UK’s road system is under constant repair, and for those whose job it is to repair and maintain the highways, theirs is one of the most dangerous working environments imaginable. But if the correct procedures are not adhered to and all health and safety guidelines not stringently met, it’s not just road repair workers who are at risk – the public is in jeopardy as well. A recent court case has highlighted this in stark relief, where a motorist died as a result of hitting an unlit contractor’s vehicle parked at the side of the M6 in Cumbria in 2004. Inconsistency in how the road was coned off caused confusion amongst motorists, which eventually led to the fatal crash.

Over the past seven years, 11 people have been killed in incidents relating to the construction and maintenance of roads. Strict legislation relating to the safety of both workers and the public exists under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which apply universally to all businesses, no matter what their operation. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has made it clear that those involved in roadworks have a responsibility not only to the workers themselves, but to the public as well, and should ensure that they do everything possible to ensure the safety of everyone using the roads. This includes vehicle maintenance and even depositing mud and detritus on the road surface.

Who’s Responsible?

The bottom line is that the construction company undertaking the repairs is responsible for ensuring that roadworks are clearly signposted and coned. If you have an accident as the result of poorly marked roadworks, then you are entitled to pursue a compensation claim against the construction company direct.

The first thing to do is to try and gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim, including photographic evidence, witness statements and the condition of the road itself. It may also be worth investigating if there have been any other incidences at the same spot that can be directly linked to the condition of the roadworks. All of this will add to your case and will assist your solicitor in pursuing any claim for injury or damage to your vehicle.

The same rules apply if your accident involves a collision with a works vehicle. If that vehicle is not correctly maintained, then it is the responsibility of the company and not specifically the driver. As a result, a compensation claim would be made against the company that owns the vehicle, rather than the individual driver. Again, it’s the evidence that counts, and specialist legal advice should always be sought if you are making such a claim.

RTA work accident claims experts available on 0808 901 9069

Your employer has a legal duty to protect your health and safety even if you are out on the roads. If you believe that your employer was to blame for your RTA, the Work Accident Solicitors could help.

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