Car Accidents and Guardrails
Drivers frequently travel roads lined with metal guardrails. Guardrails are meant to prevent vehicles from going off the road in an accident, and can be extremely helpful on stretches of road with steep embankments or drop-offs. Unfortunately, guardrails are also a leading cause of injuries in car accidents.
While intended as a safety feature, guardrails sometimes cause more harm than good, often due to faulty design or poor maintenance. Individuals in Scranton, PA, Stroudsburg, PA, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, who are injured in a car accident involving a guardrail can work with car accident lawyers at the Foley Law Firm to explore their right to financial compensation for accident damages.
Potential Guardrail Dangers
Drivers should be able to rely on guardrails to provide some degree of protection in an accident. When guardrails work as intended, they can lessen car accident damages. Sadly, there are many incidents where guardrails actually make car accident damages worse, often leading to catastrophic injuries or death. Some of the biggest potential dangers of guardrails include:
- Design flaws - Guardrails are meant to telescope upon impact, so they absorb some of the force of a crash. Instead, design flaws can cause guardrails to impale vehicles, which can make them a potentially deadly object for vehicle passengers.
- Improper installation - Guardrails do not work properly if they are not installed correctly. Setting them at the right height is of particular importance. They need to be high enough to prevent vehicles from flipping over them, but low enough to prevent vehicles from sliding beneath.
- Poor maintenance - Just like any other type of safety equipment, guardrails need regular upkeep and maintenance. Over time, guardrails can erode and weaken to the point that they can no longer absorb the impact of an accident.
Accident Injuries Caused by a Lack of Guardrails
When guardrails are designed and installed properly, in addition to being well-maintained, they can be a lifesaving tool. Unfortunately, just as there are accidents that are worsened by substandard guardrails, there are those where a lack of guardrails contributes to accident injuries.
City, county, and/or state departments are responsible for identifying roads where guardrails may be necessary, such as those where rollover and head-on collisions are a high risk, and those with steep drop-offs or little shoulder area. If a department neglects to install guardrails in a high-risk area, they may be at least partially liable for car accident damages that could have been prevented by a functioning guardrail.
Compensation for Accident Damages
When someone is injured in a car accident, the person or party liable for the accident should be responsible for accident damages, including those that are economic and those that are non-economic (i.e. pain and suffering). Oftentimes, the liable party is the driver of the vehicle who caused the accident. However, there are times when other parties may be assigned full or partial liability.
If accident injuries were made worse by the condition of existing guardrails, or by a failure to install necessary guardrails, a government entity may be liable for at least a portion of accident damages. The lawyers at Foley Law Firm have the knowledge and resources to hold these parties accountable so that our clients receive the maximum financial compensation they are due.
Get In Touch
If you have been injured in a car accident involving a guardrail, the lawyers at the Foley Law Firm can assist you with pursuing financial compensation for your losses. To discuss the details of your accident with our legal team, send us a message online, or call (570) 342-8194 to schedule a consultation.