Dangerous Roads and Bridges
Here’s the thing about accidents that occur because of dangerous roads and bridges – the police reports rarely state road conditions as causal factors. And while you should contact an attorney for any serious accident you may be involved in, it is especially important to choose an experienced firm when dealing with accidents caused by dangerous roads.
Dangerous roads can include ones that are designed poorly or that have cracks, breaks, or holes in the surface, as well as those that are poorly maintained, have inadequate shoulders, unsafe merge lanes, or no guardrail. When you are in an accident that you believe happened because of a road defect, failure, or danger, your attorney must collect evidence to that fact.
Types of Dangerous Roads that Cause Accidents
Roads can have design, construction, and maintenance defects as well as road failures. Examples could include:
- Road design defects such as dangerous curves, slopes, and dips in the road; short merge lanes: missing guardrails, improper road drainage systems, shoulders with dangerous drop offs, improper or missing warning signs, slick pavement.
- Roadway construction defects may occur if the workmanship or materials or tools are shoddy or if roadway crews fail to follow safe and approved roadway plans.
- Inadequately maintained roadways like a road that’s wrought with potholes, or its lines and marking are too faded to clearly see, or its missing sections of guardrail.
- Road failures include sections of road that sink, cave in, or collapse, or that become dangerous due to vehicular use.
Often the dangerous roads exist because government agencies have little or no incentive to fix them and the costs to fix defective roads may also be cost prohibitive. What these government agencies do have is the legal resources to fight your case and deflect blame.
Even if you are partially to blame for an accident on a dangerous road or bridge, the agency responsible for the condition of the road must take their part of the responsibility too. To make sure this happens, your attorney may have a roadway engineer and accident reconstruction expert witness review your case, collect evidence, and present testimony regarding the condition of the road and its role in the accident and whether the responsible agency knew about the defects.
According to ABC News, more than 59,000 bridges in the United States are “structurally deficient”, including three of the most traveled bridges in the country, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Centennial Bridge in Illinois, and the Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C. *source
The media outlet reports that the top three states with the most structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. are:
- Iowa with 5,025 unsafe bridges
- Pennsylvania with 4,783 unsafe bridges
- Oklahoma with 3,776 unsafe bridges
Some of these unsafe bridges may drop broken and cracked concrete on to traffic below while others, like the Mississippi Bridge in Minneapolis can collapse, causing devastation to those on the bridge or below. Bridges crossing spans of water are just as deadly and can easily be damaged by barge and ship impact as well as flooding and traffic overload.
Millions of vehicles are crossing these structurally deficient bridges every single day, their lives, and the lives of their friends, neighbors, peers, and loved ones at risk from falling debris, overload, and collapse. You have a right to safe roads and bridges and the agencies responsible for their design, build, and maintenance must be held accountable under the low for the lives that are changed every day by accidents on dangerous roads and bridges.
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