Can I File a Lawsuit if My Car Accident was Caused by a Guardrail in Texas?
Guardrails are intended to save the lives of wayward or unlucky drivers that lose control of their vehicles on the highway. Of course, while guardrails are intended to be safety features on a highway, there is still a chance they could pose a significant threat to drivers if they are not manufactured or appropriately placed. If you were in a Texas guardrail spear accident or struck a defective guardrail, call our Arlington car accident caused by a guardrail lawyer today. The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., has litigated guardrail car accident lawsuits in the past, and we could use our skills to assist you in pursuing damages after your guardrail crash. Our Arlington, TX car accident lawyers would like to explain how a car accident victim could file a lawsuit after a guardrail crash in Texas.
Who Can be Sued for a Guardrail Car Accident in Texas?
Unlike a car accident that is between two or more drivers, guardrail accidents usually involve a singular driver being injured after making contact with a guardrail. However, after a guardrail crash, a victim may be unsure how they could gain compensation for their injuries. Our Arlington, TX guardrail car accident lawyers explain.
To be clear, if a driver negligently operates their vehicle and ends up colliding with a guardrail, the driver’s options for compensation would be to turn to their insurance carrier. It is when a guardrail does not effectively stop or minimize the impact of a crash that a victim may have a valid car accident claim. For example, if a vehicle knocks over a poorly installed guardrail and crosses lanes into oncoming traffic, this is a scenario that could support a guardrail lawsuit in Texas.
There is more than one party that could be liable for a car accident that is caused by a guardrail. In many cases, the local or state government responsible for the guardrail accident. Additionally, the manufacturer of the guardrail may be the liable party. There is also a chance that the victim would be justified in filing a lawsuit against the state that installed the guardrail and the manufacturer that produced it.
Our firm could go over the details of your case and help you determine the defendants that should be named in a lawsuit for a car accident caused by a guardrail.
Common Reasons for Guardrail Car Accidents in Texas
As mentioned, a driver does not have automatic grounds to file a lawsuit against the state or a manufacturer for simply hitting a guardrail. The victim must show that the barrier was more harmful than beneficial, which may be shown in a few ways.
One option to recover damages for a guardrail crash is to show that the manufacturer’s design was dangerous to motorists. For example, if an area of a guardrail was overly reinforced, it could cause a vehicle to come to an immediate stop rather than a gradual one. This is dangerous because the sudden loss in speed may cause the driver to be thrown against the steering wheel, airbags, door, or other hard surfaces, which may lead to bone fractures and many other injuries.
Additionally, if the manufacturer shaped the guardrail in a way that it could easily spear a vehicle, this may also be a problem. A guardrail spear accident is when a guardrail penetrates a car, which could possibly happen because of the way the structure was designed. As a result, parts of the guardrail could enter the car and possibly impale or pin victims inside. This is why it is necessary for manufacturers to look at the safest guardrail practices and implement them to keep drivers safe.
Local and state governments in Texas may also be held liable because of how they chose to install the guardrail. For example, if water barrels were not placed at the start of a guardrail, this could increase the likelihood of spearing crashes.
Also, if a county is not regularly maintaining guardrails on their highways, this could also be valuable evidence that they played a role in a guardrail crash. For example, if motorists frequently strike a guardrail, the structure could be weakened over time, which would make it less effective when another driver collides with it.
Suing Texas State Government for a Guardrail Car Crash
Lawsuits for a guardrail car crash in Texas may be complicated depending on the defendants that the plaintiff must name. Suing a manufacturer for a defective guardrail with the help of a Plano, TX car accident lawyer would typically be easier than pursuing a local or state government. This is because there are strict laws that must be followed when suing a government entity.
One of the barriers to suing a government entity is that they often must be informed of the lawsuit before it could proceed. This means you cannot simply file your complaint with a court; you must discover who is responsible for maintaining the guardrail in question and notify them of your intent to sue. If a victim gets this procedure wrong, it could result in the court dismiss their claim. A victim must also consider the statute of limitations when pursuing their case.
Our legal team has experience with litigating against state governments, and we could guide you through this tedious process.
Call Our Arlington, Texas Car Accident Lawyers for a Defective Guardrail Crash
If you or a family member was involved in a guardrail accident in Texas, call our Texas personal injury attorneys. Our staff has had years of experience representing clients in car accident cases, and our services are readily available for you to utilize. Call (817) 476-1797 to make a free legal consultation with a member of our legal team. Our online submission form may also be used to make an appointment.