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What You Should Know About Accidents Involving Defective Guardrails

Posted on in Product Liability

Winnebago County product liability attorneysGuardrails are barriers that are placed along the edge of highways and other high-traffic roads. The purpose of guardrail is to minimize the damage caused by a vehicle leaving the driving lane. They may be used to divide lanes of traffic traveling in opposite directions, prevent vehicles from crashing into man-made structures such as buildings, and stop vehicles from rolling down steep hills. Although guardrails may look simple, their design and construction is the result of extensive research and innovation.

An important element of guardrails is that theys must be designed in such a way that they minimize the damage done to vehicles during a collision. Unfortunately, some guardrails actually do more harm than good. When a defective guardrail causes a person to be injured or killed, a lawsuit may help the injured person or the deceased person’s family to recover compensation.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Involving Defective Guardrails

A guardrail should be designed and manufactured in a way that prevents additional vehicle damage or personal injury during a collision. If a guardrail does not accomplish this goal, the guardrail may be considered defective.

In the past, for example, Lindsay X-LITE guardrails have been blamed for several deaths across the United States. According to the several lawsuits filed against the creators and manufacturers of the X-LITE, the company not only failed to design a product that was safe and effective, it also failed to disclose known issues with the guardrails. Most guardrails are designed so that pieces telescope, or collapse into each other, when struck by a vehicle at the guardrail’s end. This helps absorb the impact of the collision and prevent exposed pieces from piercing the vehicle. The lawsuits allege that the defective guardrail did not act as intended during collisions and caused death and injury as a result.

Proving Liability in a Guardrail Accident Claim

As with any product liability case, there are several elements necessary to proving liability on the part of a guardrail designer or manufacturer. If your claim is based the design of the guardrail, you and your attorney will need to show that the guardrail was designed with some type of characteristic or flaw that created a danger. You could also file a claim against the manufacturer if there mistakes made or shortcuts taken during the manufacturing process that caused an unsafe defect in the guardrail in question. In either case, you will need to show that the flaw or defect caused you to suffer preventable injuries.  

Through a personal injury lawsuit, an injured person or the representative of a deceased person killed in an accident involving a defective guardrail may be eligible for compensation. Damages available through a defective guardrail lawsuit may include:

  • Property damage
  • Medical bills and ongoing medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of income due to missed work
  • Loss of future income potential
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship and guidance
  • Emotional damages
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support from the deceased person

Contact a Winnebago County Defective Product Lawyer

Proving that a motorist’s death or injury was caused by a defective guardrail is often a long, difficult process that requires leadership from an experienced personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident involving a defective guardrail, contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS, to learn about your options for compensation. Call our office at 815-215-7561 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable Rockford personal injury attorney today.

 

Sources:

https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/2018/01/31/more-lawsuits-accuse-guardrail-manufacturers-negligence/1084179001/

https://courts.illinois.gov/circuitcourt/CivilJuryInstructions/400.00.pdf

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