Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers
Goodrich & Geist, P.C.’s Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers Can Help You After A Guardrail Accident
Guardrails are an important part of road and driving safety, yet many people probably never consider their role in preventing accidents and keeping our roads safe. Depending on where a guardrail may be positioned, it may be used to prevent vehicles from drifting off into a ditch, falling into a ravine, or striking the side of the road. Guardrails are also often used to prevent vehicles from striking objects such as trees and roadside fixtures such as bridge columns. Although guardrails are installed for motorist safety, they can also cause accidents. Guardrails rank as a leading source of injury and damage in fixed-object accidents. Some guardrails are built with impact absorbing properties, but not all of them have this feature, and poor guardrail design, installation, or placement can lead to serious injuries and losses. However, some do not. If you were involved in an accident that involved a guardrail, our team of experienced Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers can help you with your case.
Goodrich & Geist, P.C.’s dedicated attorneys are just a call away and we can help you understand the laws that apply to your accident, the kinds of evidence needed to file a claim, and how to handle insurance representatives while you seek coverage for your losses. Contact us here for legal assistance with your case.
The Role Of Guardrails In Highway Safety And Dangerous Installation Errors
Guardrails are intended to function much like a vehicle crumple zone in an accident. When struck, guardrails are meant to crumple, absorbing much of the shock of the accident and transmitting as little of the impact to the vehicle and its passengers. However, in many head-on and T-bone collisions, guardrails can completely buckle, and design flaws, installation errors, and improper maintenance can make a bad situation worse.
Many motor vehicle fatalities are caused by impalement by guardrails that did not collapse on impact and instead jutted into the oncoming vehicle. Also, serious accidents can occur as a result of improper installation. It is not uncommon for construction companies or their road teams to take shortcuts when installing guardrails, and human error or a lack of knowledge or training can also lead to defective installation. Unclear laws and complex installation steps can also contribute to a sub-par – and dangerous – installation.
Guardrail injuries can also be caused by the installation of the guardrail at the wrong height. If a guardrail is installed too high or too low, this may counteract the guardrail’s function of preventing a vehicle from falling off the road and may strike passengers at, for example, window-height rather than lower across the side of the vehicle in a T-bone accident. This difference is small but important because windows do not come with protective side beams whereas many vehicle doors do. Similarly, guardrails that are too low can fling an oncoming vehicle into the air, exacerbating the injuries and damages caused by the accident.
Finally, guardrails that are not regularly maintained can lose their resilience over time, and the ground in which they are installed may erode, rendering them unable to withstand the impact of a collision. If this were to occur, then a municipal, state, or federal government body may be liable for the accident and any injuries that occurred.
Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers Will Help You Determine Liability For A Guardrail Accident
From the above, it is clear that guardrails are an important highway safety feature and that they play multiple roles in keeping drivers, their passengers, and vehicles safe. They prevent vehicles from careening off the highway or into oncoming traffic, and they can absorb the impact of a crash and reduce the damage caused by a collision.
However, negligence and oversights on the part of the government, installation teams, and guardrail manufacturers can sometimes do more harm than good. Road safety and maintenance agencies must adjust and post speed limits wherever there are fall-off risks on a road. Traffic safety signage must be placed to warn motorists of road hazards. Road designs must also take potentially dangerous situations in mind, such as not placing a guardrail where one might be needed to prevent an out-of-control commercial vehicle from being able to pull off the shoulder of the road on a decline.
Our Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers and our auto accident team can help you determine the cause of the accident you were involved in and the role that different parties may have played in contributing to the accident.
Services Provided By Our Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers
In addition to identifying the at-fault party for your accident, we can help you as follows:
- Determine if installation errors caused your guardrail accident.
- Determine if an installed guardrail met state and federal safety requirements.
- Quantify your losses and damages.
- Obtain evidence to substantiate your claims.
- File a claim or lawsuit with the right courts or agencies within the applicable deadlines (for claims) or statutes of limitations (for lawsuits).
Contact the Pittsburgh Guardrail Accident Lawyers with Goodrich & Geist, P.C. today for a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Guardrail Accidents
You can file a claim for any injuries, losses, or damages that are related to your accident. These include but are not limited to medical treatment costs, lost income, funeral costs, and compensation for pain, suffering, mental anguish, vehicle repairs, and the loss of the company, consortium, or service of a loved one.
Pennsylvania is a no-fault state so you must file your claim with your insurer. Depending on the nature of your accident and the types of coverage you have, you may be able to use collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, health coverage, or basic coverage policy to cover your accident-related losses and damages. However, if your accident was caused by the negligence or errors of another party and it led to catastrophic or long-term injuries, you may be able to sue for compensation. For guardrail accidents, you may be able to sue a guardrail manufacturer, an installation team, or the government body or agency responsible for road upkeep in the jurisdiction where your accident occurred.