Faulty Guardrails in Auto Accidents
In recent years, guardrails have been the subject of various car accident lawsuits across the country. The whole point of a guardrail is to save lives. A driver who has fallen asleep, or who loses control around a curve or gets in an accident on a steep road, should be kept on the roadway when they hit this barrier. Unfortunately, there have been instances in which the guardrail did not perform correctly and instead impaled the vehicle that hit it.
Lawyers Experienced in Nationwide Guardrail Litigation
Regulators maintain that guardrails save far more lives than they end. When a guardrail does not perform as expected, there are several potentially liable parties:
- The driver, if they were driving in a way that caused the injury
- Guardrail manufacturer
- Guardrail installer
- Federal, state or local government
It takes a skilled litigator to understand the complexities of these cases. Are certain guardrails causing deaths, or are the deaths an unavoidable outcome of a tragic situation, such as a driver falling asleep at the wheel? Should the manufacturer, installer or local government be held accountable for these deaths, or are the fatalities an unfortunate risk of driving? It is these types of questions experienced personal injury attorneys are well-versed in investigating and answering.
When the motorist or family of the motorist decides to pursue a lawsuit, it may take the form of one of the following cases:
Wrongful death claim, in which the family of the victim killed in the accident pursues justice and compensation for the loved one's medical bills, funeral costs, lost earnings, lost benefits, and loss of companionship.
Injury claim, in which the victim in the accident pursues justice and compensation for the injuries they suffered, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Defective product claim, in which the injured victim or their family holds the manufacturer, designer or installer responsible for a defect that directly caused the injury or death.
Recent California Guard Rail Accident involved X-Lite End Terminal
In one of the most recent examples of a guardrail accident, a California family is suing the state and the manufacturer for their son's death. They claim that his death would not have occurred had he not crashed into that particular guardrail end, according to NBC San Diego.
According to the NBC article, Gonzalo Martinez was killed instantly from blunt force trauma to the head when 60 feet of X-Lite guardrail impaled the vehicle he was driving. His brother was in the passenger seat and survived. Gonzalo was traveling just 5 miles over the speed limit when the vehicle left the roadway and collided with the end terminal.
The NBC report goes on to say that the manufacturer told them the end terminal passed all federal evaluations. NBC found that 9 people across the country have died after colliding with the end terminal of an X-Lite guardrail. States including California have begun voluntarily replacing this type of end terminal.
Learn More about Car Accidents involving Guard Rails
If you have any questions about guardrail liability and the cases that may stem from these accidents, we encourage you to call an experienced personal injury attorney.