Can Guardrails Make Accident Damages Worse?
Many of America’s roadways are lined with guardrails. Guardrails are often placed in areas with steep drop-offs, sharp turns, or multiple lanes of opposing traffic. Guardrails are used in high-risk areas to protect vehicles in lane departure accidents and prevent more serious accident damages.
While guardrails have probably prevented countless catastrophic injuries and deaths, there are also numerous incidents in which guardrails have made car accident damages worse. Individuals in the Bellevue, WA, area who have been injured in car accidents involving guardrails can work with the car accident lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, to explore their right to financial compensation for accident damages.
Causes of Guardrail Accidents
Guardrails are put in place to slow vehicles down and prevent them from going off the road in the event of an accident. However, it is important to consider why cars may come into contact with a guardrail in the first place. While there are accidents where a vehicle is pushed into a guardrail by another car, many guardrail accidents are singular vehicle crashes. A car may crash into a guardrail for a number of reasons, including:
- Driving while drowsy
- Texting while driving or practicing other forms of distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Losing control of the vehicle due to hazardous road conditions
- Fog, heavy rain, and/or poor visibility
How Can Guardrails Worsen Accident Damages?
Guardrails are meant to be a safety device to minimize accident damages, so how is it that they often make accident injuries even worse? When a guardrail causes greater accident injury and damage, then it is likely because it was defective, poorly made, or improperly placed.
Potential guardrail defects and/or problems include:
- Worn or damaged guardrail that fails to sustain the impact of an accident
- Turning into a sword-like object (instead of collapsing on impact) that pierces or impales vehicles and/or passengers
- Sitting too high so as to allow vehicles to slide beneath the guardrail
- Being placed too low so that vehicles are able to flip over the top of the guardrail
Who Is Liable for Guardrail Accident Damages?
Most often, accident liability falls on the driver who caused the collision. Therefore, if a driver is in a single vehicle car crash, they are likely to assume that they are solely responsible for accident damages. However, when accidents involve guardrails, that may not be the case.
If our lawyers are able to show that accident damages were worse than they should have been because of a guardrail, then liability may fall (at least partially) on:
- The city or municipality that maintains the guardrail
- The manufacturer of the guardrail
- The party that placed the guardrail
Our Bellevue lawyers work with accident investigators to recreate the details of a collision and determine all parties who may share liability for accident damages. This allows us to pursue maximum compensation for injury victims.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you believe that a defective guardrail made accident damages worse, the lawyers at Quick Law Group, PLLC, can help you explore your legal options regarding financial compensation. To discuss the details of your accident with our legal team, contact us online, or call our Bellevue law firm at (425) 576-8150.