Car Accidents Involving Guardrails
When a car accident occurs, vehicles are often pushed out of their lane of traffic, or off the road altogether. To minimize the risk of catastrophic injuries or death, guardrails are commonly placed along roads that have sharp curves or steep drop-offs, or between two lanes of opposing traffic. While guardrails are meant to protect drivers, they sometimes make accident damages even worse.
Individuals who are seriously injured in a car accident involving a guardrail may be due significant financial compensation for related losses. Car accident lawyers at the Tawwater Law Firm assist accident victims in the Oklahoma City, OK, area in determining accident liability and holding liable parties accountable for accident damages.
How Are Guardrails Supposed to Function?
A guardrail is a safety barrier that is supposed to protect drivers who are pushed off the roadway. Guardrails are meant to deflect, slow, or stop an out-of-control vehicle so that it doesn’t go completely off the road. Guardrails are placed in areas where striking a guardrail would be less dangerous than going off the road (often due to a steep cliff, bridge, or other drop-off), or less dangerous than striking other surrounding objects (trees, utility poles, etc.).
Guardrails are made up of two primary components: the end terminal and the guardrail face. The end terminal is the starting point of the guardrail and the guardrail face is the length of guardrail that extends from the end terminal, along the road. When either the end terminal or guardrail face is hit, it is supposed to absorb the impact of the crash by telescoping in on itself or by bending and “gating” out of the way so that the vehicle slows down and passes the guardrail.
Defective Guardrails and Car Accident Injuries
Unfortunately, guardrails do not always work as intended, and they can cause catastrophic or fatal injuries for Oklahoma City accident victims. Defective guardrails may either fail to stop a vehicle from going completely off the road, or they may absorb the impact of an accident incorrectly and turn into a sharp spear that impales the vehicle.
When a guardrail is defective, not only does it fail to prevent accident injuries, but it can actually make them worse than they would have been if a guardrail was not in place. Potential injuries in accidents involving a defective guardrail include:
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Stab wound
- Organ damage
- Loss of limbs
Liability for Accident Damages
When someone is injured in a car accident, the person or party who caused the collision should be held accountable for accident damages. However, when an accident involves a defective guardrail that makes accident damages worse, other parties may share partial responsibility for accident injuries and related losses.
Our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers work with experts in the field to examine guardrails that have been involved in an accident. We gather evidence to determine if the guardrail manufacturer, the installer, or the city/municipality in charge of guardrail upkeep may owe accident victims damages for losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Get In Touch
If you have been injured in a car accident, and you suspect that a defective guardrail contributed to your injuries, lawyers at the Tawwater Law Firm can help you explore your right to financial compensation. To discuss your case with our legal team, call (405) 607-1400 and schedule a consultation, or send us a message online.