Car Accidents and Guardrails
Driving offers a lot of conveniences, but it also carries the risk of getting into an accident. Because collisions are so common, there are many safety measures in place to minimize damages should an accident occur. On the roadways, one of the most common safety features is guardrails.
Guardrails line roadways to prevent vehicles from going completely off the road near drop-offs, trees, or other structures. Unfortunately, guardrails do not always perform as intended. When car accidents involving guardrails result in worse damages because the guardrails were faulty, the car accident lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C., can help their Brooklyn, NY, clients pursue compensation for damages.
How Do Guardrails Work?
Most people drive past guardrails on a regular basis, but few stop to consider what they are actually there for. Guardrails are intended to protect drivers who drift off the roadway. When they function as they are meant to, guardrails prevent vehicles from flipping over the rail or sliding beneath it.
Guardrails are placed in areas where drivers would face particular danger if they went off the road completely, most frequently along cliffs, overpasses, and bridge piers; or when they can impact retaining walls, trees, and other large structures. When struck by a vehicle, guardrails should absorb the impact of the collision and telescope in on themself, so that the vehicle slows down or comes to a complete stop without being further damaged by the guardrail.
Causes of Guardrail Injuries
Guardrails can be extremely beneficial to drivers when they function properly. Unfortunately, many guardrails are faulty. A faulty guardrail not only fails to minimize accident damages, but it can actually make damages and injuries worse. Guardrails are often ranked as the highest cause of injury or fatality in single vehicle crashes. So how does something that is supposed to protect drivers turn into a source of catastrophic injury?
Guardrails can worsen car accident damages and injuries when they fail to properly absorb the impact of an accident, or when they fail to prevent a vehicle from going off the roadway. Rather than telescoping upon impact as intended, it is not unusual for a guardrail to bend or break apart at impact and instead create a sharp, sword-like object that can impale the vehicle and its occupants.
The most common causes of guardrail car accident injuries include:
- Design flaws
- Improper installation (placing the guardrail too high or too low)
- Substandard construction materials
- Insufficient maintenance
Who Is Liable for Guardrail Accident Damages?
If car accident damages are made worse by a faulty guardrail, it is important to determine who is liable for the malfunction. There are many parties that may share fault for a faulty guardrail, including:
- The guardrail manufacturer
- The installation company
- The municipality (city, county, state, etc.) in charge of guardrail placement and maintenance
Our Brooklyn attorneys work with investigators to determine why a guardrail failed to function properly, so that we can hold liable parties accountable for accident damages.
Compensation for Losses
Individuals who are injured in car accidents involving guardrails have the right to go after liable parties for accident losses. The types of damages that may be awarded to our Brooklyn clients include economic losses and non-economic losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of anticipated future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of wage earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, and damages were worsened by a faulty guardrail, the lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. can help you hold liable parties accountable for your losses. To discuss the details of your car crash, send us a message online or call us at (718) 624-1211.