Guardrails seem like an important safety feature on many roadways. People think of guardrails as a backup safety measure to keep cars on the road and prevent injuries in the event of an accident. In some cases, these guardrails break when a car hits them, failing to do their job. In other accidents, guardrails may even cause more injury.
If you or a loved one was injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident involving a guardrail in Texas, call the Arlington car accident lawyers for car accidents caused by guardrails at The Queenan Law Firm. Our attorneys fight for compensation from guardrail manufacturers and local governments to help injury victims and their families get the coverage they need for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. For a free consultation on your case, call our lawyers today at (817) 476-1797.
Types of Injuries from Guardrail Accidents
Guardrails are intended to keep cars from running off the road during an accident. If the edge of the roadway quickly leads to a steep embankment or the roadway is elevated above the ground, a properly designed and installed guardrail can make a huge difference in the severity of the accident if the guardrail successfully keeps the car on the road. However, improperly installed guardrails and guardrails with defective designs can fail to prevent injury or even cause additional injuries and death.
If a guardrail fails to keep a car on the road, it may be because the guardrail was not installed on the road properly or because the guardrail had a design flaw. Guardrails are not intended to be perfect, and they cannot keep all vehicles at all speeds from breaking through them. However, when an accident is within specifications that the guardrail should make safer, it may be the local municipality’s fault in improperly installing the rail if the guard rail does not perform as it is supposed to. Alternatively, there may be a flaw in the guardrail’s design that allowed it to fail. In these cases, the victim may be able to sue the installer or the manufacturer for any increased injury and damage they would have avoided had the guardrail functioned properly.
A more serious problem occurs when the guardrail causes more injury. If a guardrail is too rigid or thick, it could stop a car short rather than padding its impact and slowing it to a stop. If this happens, the victim could actually face more injury because they stopped so quickly, and the manufacturer or installer could be held liable.
Still more dangerous is when the design of the guardrail is patently unsafe. Many guardrails bend downward at the end and are embedded in the road. Others may have water barrels and other safety devices that protect the ends of the guardrail from collisions, slowing and stopping cars before they strike the end of the rail. Guardrails with a “boxing glove” design or other similar designs on the “end terminal cap” can actually be a serious danger. These guardrails often “spear” through cars when struck on end, potentially injuring or killing passengers. Many of these guardrails have already been recalled, and injuries from these kinds of guardrails could allow you to sue the manufacturer for the increased injuries you faced because of the defective guardrail design.
Injuries from Guardrail Spear Accidents
As mentioned, guardrails sometimes fail to stop cars, leading to more injury when the car goes off the road. In these cases, the injuries are often the same as the types of injuries commonly sustained in car accidents, but they can be more severe. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, head trauma, back and neck injuries, and other common car accident injuries could be made worse if a guardrail fails during your crash, and you may be able to sue the responsible parties for the increased severity in injury. The same is typically true for accidents where the guardrail is too strong and causes additional injuries by stopping your car too quickly.
Injuries from defective guardrail designs are often much more traumatic. In cases where a guardrail spears through a car, the rail can penetrate through the windshield or even though the front of the car. If the guardrail is capable of causing this much damage to the vehicle, the potential damage it can cause to the human body is far greater. Impalement injuries from a guardrail can be extremely serious if they hit you with a glancing blow. If a guardrail hits your limbs, it could cause enough damage to result in a traumatic amputation or require amputation later. Blows to your head or torso could even be fatal, or at least cause severe internal and external injuries requiring serious medical intervention and likely resulting in permanent organ damage and disability.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in one of these accidents, it is vital to talk to an attorney about suing for your injuries. The medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or wrongful death damages you face could be substantial, and it may take filing a lawsuit to get those damages fully covered. Talk to an attorney about your right to sue and how you can get your case started.
Arlington Guardrail Injury Lawyers Offering Free Legal Consultations
If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in an accident involving impact with a guardrail on the side of the road or highway in Texas, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our lawyers for Arlington car accident injuries caused by guardrails offer free legal consultations to help you understand your right to sue and learn more about how your case may proceed. For your free legal consultation, call our attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.