Roads are designed to encourage free movement from place to place, but also must be designed with the safety and security of motorists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists in mind. Unfortunately, some thoroughfares are not as safe as they could be. When accidents occur due to a defective road, highway, or freeway design, there can be accountability for that poor design. Tim Caress and Caress Law Group have extensive experience in handling cases involving roadway design, and we fully understand the complexities and challenges that these cases present.
In order for a road to be considered safe, a user must have enough time to see, process and react to information such as changes in the road condition, other people on the road, weather issues, and any number of other constantly changing variables. Local governments must build and maintain the roads under their jurisdiction, while federal officials must provide funding and oversight for highways and other national roads. Unfortunately, government agencies are not always the most responsible or efficient bodies, and sometimes they design dangerous roads that put people in harm’s way.
Few things are truly as annoying as driving over the same pothole every day, but that pothole can lead to serious harm if left unfixed. As Americans, we depend on our cars more than any mode of transportation. Consequently, we pay taxes to the government to maintain and fix the roads, highways, and streets so that they will be safe for our use; however, government agencies do not always uphold their end of the bargain. This means that city, county, and federal roads can be far more dangerous than they ought to be. Potholes, pavement drop offs, inadequate lighting, obstructed roadways, and debris can wreak major havoc.
Roads need maintenance from time to time to ensure that they remain safe and drivable. Although sometimes they are fixed at inopportune times, such as fixing a pothole on a busy street in the middle of rush hour, most people are happy to see their tax dollars put to good work.
Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous and often overlooked causes of accidents is the failure to post adequate notice of construction so that drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians can adjust. In order to accommodate construction crews, lanes are often closed, traffic redirected, and sections of sidewalk are closed. Without warning, motorists can get caught in a dangerous lane bottleneck, or pedestrians and bicyclists can enter a construction zone, often with devastating results.
Another significant hazard is the metal plates used to cover open trenches in the road. These plates are useful construction aids, as they allow easy access to sewer, electrical, and gas lines. However, if used without adequate warning on steep hills or around blind corners, they can be a recipe for disaster. These steel plates offer very little in the way of traction even under the best conditions, and too many plates combined with wet or other slick surfaces can cause vehicles to lose contact with the ground and skid out of control.
Failure to post construction signs can result in the most serious and debilitating injuries because motorists have to contend not only with other motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, but also with construction workers, heavy equipment, and other common hazards on construction sites. Without advance warning of changed conditions, many motorists are unaware of the added dangers of their daily commute, which puts lives unnecessarily at risk.
According to almost every study, intersections are one of the most dangerous places on the roads. There is more likelihood that an accident will occur at intersections due to crossing lanes, left turns, protected intersections, or failing to start or stop at the right signals. The Driving Institute of America indicates that 40% of car crash deaths involve drivers failing to pay attention at intersections. In fact, one third of all accidents occur at intersections.
However, intersection accidents may not always be the fault of the drivers involved. Design flaws in the road such as inadequate posted conditions or speed limits, obstructed lines of sight, poorly timed traffic signals, and bad traffic flow can be responsible for an accident.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a defective or dangerous roadway, we would be happy to assist you in any way that we can, but you have to take the first step and reach out to us. You may be concerned about whether you have a case or not, or you may feel a bit overwhelmed by all that may be involved with a claim, or you may be uncomfortable with contacting a lawyer at all. We completely understand. Please know that we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your situation, no matter how big or small it may be, and no matter whether it turns out to be a case that we can help with or not. If we don’t think that you have a case where we can help, we will tell you that and we will explain to you why. On the otherhand, if we do think that you have a case, or that you may have a case, we will tell you that as well, and we will also discuss with you how we may be able to help you. Whatever your situation, please do not hesitate to contact us and know that we view it as an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to help you in any way that we can.