You face many hazards on the road, such as inattentive drivers, inclement weather and poor road conditions. But sometimes the greatest hazard is the road itself. We know that roads have to be maintained to be safe, but what if the road was dangerous from its inception? In other words, what if the road was — inadvertently — designed to cause traffic accidents rather than prevent them?
Poor road design encompasses many flaws that can easily cause a serious accident. Defects in road design include:
Now, it’s well understood that when an auto defect, such as Toyota’s stuck accelerator pedal or GM’s faulty ignition switch, causes an accident, the auto manufacturer is strictly liable. But few motorists realize the same principle applies to roadways. You don’t have to take the road as you found it. If the road design or poor maintenance caused your accident, the entity that constructed the road is liable for damages.
Unfortunately, that often means suing a government agency, either the state or federal Department of Transportation. This involves the issue of sovereign immunity, a legal principle that says you can’t sue the government unless the government agrees to be sued. In road defect cases, this requires you to assemble overwhelming evidence of a faulty roadway to convince the government to hear your case before you can file suit. In effect, you must try the case twice.
Although there is a high bar to entry for road design defect cases, it is not insurmountable. An experienced attorney at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, L.L.P. can evaluate your case free of charge and provide the legal representation you require. To schedule a consultation, call today at 253.250.4516 or contact our office online.
"Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "
"Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "
"Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "
"Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "
"Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "
"Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "
"Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "
"Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "
"Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "
"I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."
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"We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "