Personal Injuries Due to Defective Guardrails
Guardrail designs have evolved steadily since the 1960s, and have been becoming progressively safer.
Early Guardrail Designs
Early guardrail designs were unacceptably dangerous by today’s standards, because when an automobile collided with the end terminal of the guardrail, the vehicle (and its occupant) was likely to be impaled by the guardrail (which acted like a giant spear during a head-on collision).
Design Improvements & Modern Versions
Although subsequent designs largely rectified this deficiency, later guardrails tended to behave like ramps during a collision, causing the vehicle to roll over, sometimes into incoming traffic. Modern designs avoid these dangers far more effectively.
Today’s guardrails are designed to fold up accordion-style in a head-on collision:
- Preventing impalement
- Slowing the car down in a controlled and gradual manner
- Preventing the vehicle from being deflected back onto the road towards oncoming traffic.
Guardrail injuries still sometimes occur, however, and at least one manufacturer, Trinity Industries, has faced extensive litigation and enormous liability amid allegations that it switched to a dangerous (and cheaper) guardrail design to save money.
Accordingly, if you have been injured in a guardrail accident on a public road due to its defective design and/or manufacture, you should contact a qualified products liability attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to assess the extent of your damages, help you fight for your legal rights, and maximize your chances of being justly compensated for your injuries.
Liability in Guardrail Injury Cases: Manufacturing Vs. Design Defect
To win a lawsuit in a guardrail injury product liability case, you typically must show that the guardrail was subject to either a manufacturing defect or a design defect.
- A manufacturing defect is present when the guardrail was not manufactured in the way it was designed, and that this deviation rendered the guardrail unreasonably dangerous.
- When you allege a design defect, by contrast, you are asserting that even if the guardrail was manufactured according to specifications, the design itself was faulty and unreasonably dangerous.
In the Trinity lawsuits, for example, the plaintiffs alleged that the guardrail end terminal was defectively designed, thereby causing the guardrail to behave like a projectile during a collision.
Since the design doesn’t have to be perfect to escape liability, to win you will typically have to prove the existence of a better design that was not used. In addition, you will need to establish that the defect caused your damages. Finally, you must show that you actually suffered damages as a result of the defect.
When claiming damages in a guardrail injury lawsuit, you need to think broadly as well as to think ahead. It is obvious that any medical bills should be included in your damages. You should also claim damages for any resulting:
- Lost work time
- Pain and suffering
- Other losses (physical, financial or psychological/emotional)
You should also claim lifetime damages - for example, future medical bills and lost work time - since you won’t be able to come back for more in the future. Damages in the seven-figure range are not unusually high in cases of serious, lifelong personal injuries.
Contact Zinda Law Group – We Make a Difference for our Clients
If you were injured in a guardrail accident or suffered some other type of personal injury, skilled and prompt legal assistance is an absolute necessity if you want to fully protect your rights. Your first decision – your choice of attorney – might very well be the most important decision you make in the entire case.
Zinda Law Group is a law firm with a stellar reputation that has been approved by the Better Business Bureau®. Our attorneys are zealous fighters by nature, and they will spare no effort to see that you receive the compensation that you rightfully deserve.
If you have been injured and want to learn more about your legal options, call us today, toll free, at 1-800-863-5312. We will schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights as well as possible strategies for the litigation and/or settlement of your claim.
Where Zinda Law Group Practices:
As we’ve grown we expanded out west to El Paso, Texas subsequently into Arizona adding Tucson Personal Injury Lawyers to the firm, as well as adding offices in Colorado including Denver Personal Injury Lawyers and the surrounding cities such as Colorado Springs.
Types of Cases We Handle:
We also have a team of attorneys that have experience serious injury cases such as car accidents, wrongful death and truck accidents. We also have experience handling more complex cases such as gas explosions and drug injury cases, such as the Taxotere® Lawsuits.