Yes, the victims of guardrail injury accidents can file an injury lawsuit. The injured party must be able to determine that injuries were caused due to wrongful actions or someone else’s negligence. It could be proved by deciding that the guardrail was improperly maintained, installed, or designed. You can also prove that dangerous road conditions led to the accident or that the other driver was acting negligently.
The victims must also understand the statute of limitations necessary for filing the lawsuit. The time for filing the personal injury claim starts after the accident. If any government entity was responsible for maintaining or constructing guardrails that caused the accident, it could also be held liable.
It is most appropriate to capture pictures of the damage as it may be submitted to the insurance company with the accident claim. The insurance company provides direct cost to replace or repair the guardrail. Moreover, you can also pay for the guardrail damage out of pocket if you are unwilling to file an auto insurance claim. An experienced injury law firm may ensure that they pursue compensation.
Causes Of Guardrail Accidents
Guardrail collisions can occur for various reasons, such as driver’s reckless behavior, design, or manufacturing flaws in the guardrails. Some common causes may include the following:
- Distracted Driving: Sometimes, drivers are not focused on the road when they are drinking and driving and lose control of the motor vehicle, resulting in a guardrail crash. (Learn more on important facts about drinking and driving)
- Speeding: Driving excessively may reduce their ability to react within time, leading to a collision with a guardrail.
- Design flaws: Guardrails with design flaws may prove to be hazardous, accelerating the severity of vehicles, such as car guardrail collisions.
- Defective installation: Fatalities are often caused when the guardrail is not installed correctly. It happens when construction companies take shortcuts when the installation of guardrails takes place, or they may have inadequate knowledge of installation.
- Weather conditions: Slippery roads caused by ice, snow, and rain can cause vehicles to crash into guardrails as they skid.
5 Safety Tips On How To Prevent Guardrail Accidents
By incorporating these safety tips into their driving habits, motorists contribute to a safer road environment and help prevent accidents involving guardrails.
- Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions: One of the primary safety tips to prevent guardrail accidents is for drivers to stay alert and focused while driving. Avoid distractions such as texting, phone calls, or any activities that take attention away from the road. Careful and attentive driving significantly reduces the likelihood of unintentional collisions with guardrails.
- Adhere to Speed Limits: Driving within the posted speed limits is crucial for preventing accidents involving guardrails. Speeding reduces reaction time and increases the severity of collisions. Following speed limits ensures drivers can navigate curves and turns safely, reducing the risk of veering into guardrails.
- Maintaining a Safe Following Distance: Keeping a safe following distance from the vehicle in front provides drivers ample reaction time. This is especially important on roads with guardrails. A proper following distance allows drivers to respond to sudden changes in traffic flow or unexpected obstacles, reducing the chances of collisions with guardrails.
- Be Mindful of Road Conditions: Weather and road conditions can impact vehicle stability. Drivers should adjust their speed and driving behavior based on rain, snow, or ice. Being mindful of road conditions helps prevent skidding or sliding into guardrails, particularly on slippery surfaces.
- Report Damaged Guardrails: Road authorities are critical in preventing guardrail accidents. Drivers should promptly report any damaged or missing guardrails they encounter. Timely repairs and maintenance by road authorities ensure that guardrails remain effective in preventing more severe accidents.
Who Can I Sue In A Guardrail Accident?
Determining who to sue in a guardrail accident depends on the incident’s specific circumstances. Potential parties that could be held liable include:
- Government Entities: If the guardrail is on public property and maintained by a government entity, such as a city, county, or state, they may be held responsible for inadequate maintenance, faulty design, or failure to address known hazards.
- Contractors or Manufacturers: If the guardrail was poorly designed, improperly installed, or defects in its manufacturing, the responsibility may fall on the contractors or manufacturers involved in the installation or production.
- Private Property Owners: In cases where the guardrail is on private property, the property owner may be liable if negligence, such as poor maintenance or hazardous conditions, can be proven.
- Other Drivers: If another driver’s actions lead to a collision with the guardrail, they may be liable for the damages. For example, if a driver veers into your lane and forces you into the guardrail, they could be liable.
- Construction or Maintenance Companies: If the guardrail was damaged due to ongoing construction or maintenance work, the companies responsible for these activities might be held accountable for any accidents.
How Can A Lawyer Help When You Get Involved In Guardrail Accidents?
A personal injury attorney can assist you in a guardrail accident by investigating the circumstances, determining liability, and identifying responsible parties such as government entities, contractors, or other drivers. They can navigate complex legal procedures, negotiate with insurance companies, and help you pursue settlement claims for medical expenses, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident.