Road construction zones are dangerous sites for workers and drivers alike. Car accidents often occur due to uneven roads, debris, lighting, confusing detours, trenches, or workers too close to the traffic lanes. The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) is one of the busiest roadways in New York City and a hazardous and susceptible location for construction zone accidents.

The BQE is an 11-mile section of Interstate-278 spanning the Grand Central Parkway in Queens to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in Brooklyn, famous for its triple cantilever design, featuring three Eastbound lanes constructed above three Westbound lanes, capped by the Brooklyn Promenade pedestrian walkway.

Compared to any other New York City borough, Brooklyn is home to many car accidents. The New York Police Department reports an average of 32,000 accidents annually in Brooklyn, largely due to its most dangerous BQE roadway.

As the only connector between Brooklyn and Queens, the BQE cannot be shut down for lengthy periods of maintenance and repair, increasing the risk of accidents while construction is underway. With limited lanes of open traffic, workers and drivers must dangerously interact with one another almost constantly.

Already serving as one of the most congested roadways in the city, construction-related backups on the BQE create even longer stretches of stop-and-go traffic and frustrated drivers. Tailgating and rear-end collisions increase during road work on the BQE, often holding up the already reduced lanes for hours as emergency crews attempt to reach and clear the scene.

If you have been injured in an accident on the BQE, knowing what steps to take is important. Gathering evidence at the time of the accident can significantly impact proving your accident and injury claims. If you are able, you should do the following:

  • Report the accident: Call the police and report the accident and any injuries.
  • Document the scene: Photograph the damage to all vehicles, injuries, signage, road and weather conditions, obstacles, and other relevant factors leading to the accident.
  • Gather statements: With the levels of traffic on the BQE, there are likely many witnesses. Ask for contact information, a statement, and any photos or videos they may have taken of the accident.
  • Seek medical attention: Seek medical evaluation as soon as possible, even if you believe you are uninjured or suffered only minor injuries. Certain internal injuries do not present immediate symptoms but can be life-threatening if untreated. A medical report documenting your injuries and treatment is also required for your personal injury claim.
  • Maintain records: Keep all records, such as medical reports and bills, estimates and invoices, and any correspondence from insurance companies related to the accident and injuries.
  • Limit conversation: Minimize conversation or confrontation with the other driver. The comments you make can be used against you later. The same is true of social media comments or photos, so do not post about the accident.
  • Hire a lawyer: Hire an experienced car accident lawyer with a successful track record of negotiating with insurance companies and securing compensation.

Who Is Liable for Construction Zone Car Accidents?

Determining liability in construction zone accidents is often complex, as more than one party may be responsible, and proof requires establishing negligence. Potentially liable parties may include:

  • The construction company: If it fails to take the required precautions to reduce the risk of accidents, such as posting warning signs, creating safe detours, and keeping the roadway clear of equipment and debris, it may be responsible for the accident.
  • Another driver: If the accident was caused by the negligent actions of another driver, such as speeding through a construction zone, they may be liable.
  • A municipality: Car accidents in construction zones can also be the responsibility of the city, town, or village responsible for maintaining the roadway.
  • Product manufacturers: A product manufacturer may be liable if a defective piece of machinery or equipment used by the construction company causes the accident.

How Can Rubenstein & Rynecki Help Me After a Car Accident?

In New York, you are entitled to represent yourself in personal injury claims, but historically, those who do recover far less compensation. Over 74 percent of individuals who hire an experienced car accident lawyer recover greater compensation than the 54 percent who represent themselves.

You should be focusing on your recovery after a car accident, not haggling with insurance companies. Our Brooklyn car accident lawyers possess extensive knowledge of New York law and the legal system. Our skilled car accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki will investigate the accident, work with your medical team to establish your healthcare needs, interview responding police officers and witnesses, hire experts, and represent you in court, if necessary.

When you hire our seasoned legal team, you can rest assured that your claim will be handled properly and your rights will be protected. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for our clients.

What Compensation Can I Seek for My Injuries?

The types of compensation you can seek are based on a combination of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to the expenses you incur due to your injuries and losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, repair costs, rehabilitation, or wrongful death and funeral expenses.

Non-economic damages refer to non-monetary personal costs related to the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries, such as disfigurement, chronic pain, loss of life enjoyment, or psychological and emotional trauma.

How Can I Avoid an Accident in a BQE Construction Zone?

If you encounter construction zones on the BQE, use extra caution to keep you and the construction workers safe. You should do the following to avoid an accident:

  • Stay focused and alert to your surroundings.
  • Pay attention to all posted warning signs.
  • Follow detour and reduced speed instructions.
  • Maintain a safe distance from construction workers, vehicles, equipment, cones, and barriers.
  • Avoid making lane changes.
  • Avoid distractions such as talking on the phone, texting, or eating.

Our Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki Help Clients Injured in a Construction Zone Crash on the BQE

Construction on the BQE is dangerous for workers and drivers alike. If you have been injured on the BQE caused by a negligent driver or a construction company, our Brooklyn car accident lawyers at Rubenstein & Rynecki can help. Call us at 718-522-1020 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Brooklyn, we serve clients throughout New York City, including The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.