In Wisconsin a road construction accident can be the responsibility of the road construction company or the city, town or state agency in charge of the highway construction. If a road under construction is negligently marked or warnings are inadequate, there could be liability if the negligence causes an auto accident. The companies in charge of the Zoo Interchange project are doing a great job keeping traffic open during construction, as the was case with the Marquette Interchange project several years ago. But if someone is driving along somewhere and a danger was left unattended or not adequately marked, the contractor and the government entity could have to pay damages if they caused a car accident injuries.
As for the city, town or state involved, they have government immunity, meaning they cannot be sued except under certain circumstances and very strict adherence to legal process. Generally, a notice of claim would have to be presented under Wis. Statutes Sec. 893.80 within 120 days of the accident and an itemized statement of damages is also submitted according to law. Then there are limits on the damages a government entity will be required to pay.
Concerning the private contractor, it may or may not enjoy the governmental immunity, depending on certain factors. To be covered by the immunity, the government contractor must show two things:
(1) that the contractor meets the definition of “agent” under Wis. Stat. § 893.80(4). A contractor is an “agent” for § 893.80(4) purposes only if the contractor is acting pursuant to “reasonably precise specifications” imposed by the governmental agency in charge of the project.
(2) that the contractor’s act is one for which immunity is available under the statute.
To benefit from immunity, the contractor must how the injury-causing conduct falls within a legislative, quasi-legislative, judicial or quasi-judicial function for which immunity is available under the statute. Negligent work will usually not provide immunity unless the contractor can prove the alleged negligent job was nothing more than the implementation of a policy decision on how the public works project would be built and operated. For example, a contractor implementing a design selected by the government is protected for carrying out that design even if it caused a road construction accident. However, if negligently constructed the design or failed to keep it safe during construction, that would likely not enjoy immunity.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin [nap_names id=”FIRM-NAME-1″] attorneys know government contractor liability law and the elements necessary to prove a successful case against a road construction contractor or municipality. The best car accident settlements in highway construction negligence cases come when the government immunity is inapplicable and full damages are payable. Believe in better.