Dangerous Roadway Designs
Many car accidents are results of driver errors. However, some accidents are not the fault of any driver, but are the result of dangerous and defective roadway designs that cause accidents despite careful driving. Roads can be dangerous because of poor design, construction defects, poor maintenance, improper repairs to the roadway, or improper diversion of traffic during construction or maintenance projects occurring on the roadway. Whether you can recover damages from the owner of a dangerous roadway – normally a municipality such as the City of New York, the State of New York or the Federal Government of the United States – depends on many complicated factors. At Jesse Minc Law Group, our Bronx car accident attorneys have represented many victims of car accidents caused by negligent roadway designs, and may be able to help you obtain compensation if you are injured in an accident caused by a dangerous or defective roadway design. Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss whether your accident may have been caused by a dangerously designed roadway.A Dangerous Roadway Design can Cause Serious Injuries
A road can be dangerous due to a failure to provide adequate guard rails, a failure to design an appropriate storm water drainage system, a failure to properly maintain the roadway or features of the roadway, a failure to provide proper pitch to the road to prevent flooding, a failure to place appropriate signs, the digging of ditches at the side of a roadway that are excessively deep, inadequate safety controls or warnings, trees or shrubs planted too close to the road so as to obstruct traffic control signals, or the placement of structures such as light poles too close to the roadway. In the very same manner as any premises or property, owners of roadways in New York – generally one or another governmental body – are obligated to maintain the roadway in a reasonably safe condition, which includes keeping them free of defects caused by dangerous roadway designs. A private road owner – a rarity in New York City – can be held liable for harm caused by its negligence in designing a road in the same manner as a municipality or government can be.
In many roadway design car accident cases involving roadways owned by governmental bodies in New York, the government can claim qualified immunity from liability with respect to car accidents caused by defective roadway designs. To recover compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident caused by a defective roadway design on a road owned by the government, an injured victim must demonstrate not only that the roadway design was objectively dangerous, but that the government failed to properly discharge its duty to safely maintain and protect traffic, failed to properly consider the specific risk that resulted in the accident, and failed to take reasonable and well-considered action in response to this risk. The issue of governmental immunity and qualified immunity is exceedingly complicated, and defeating this defense requires extensive discovery with the aid of traffic safety experts as well as experienced trial lawyers familiar with the nuances of these legal concepts. Our team of car accident lawyers has overcome these defenses and successfully recovered millions of dollars for injured Bronx car crash victims in negligent roadway design cases over the years.
Most roads in New York are designed and built by the state, county, or municipality in which the road is located. Generally, the New York Highway Law designates the governmental entity that is responsible for the roadway in question. When the roadway is designed and built, a very long paper trail is created regarding the process through which the design and construction process of the roadway was done. In any car accident lawsuit involving a defective roadway design, you will need to hire traffic and highway safety experts to analyze the process through which a roadway was designed. This analysis will serve, primarily, three purposes: (a) To establish that the governmental entity that was responsible for the roadway when an accident occurred failed to engage in the proper risk analysis during the design process sufficient to grant it qualified immunity from suit; (b) that the roadway design was inherently unsafe; and (c) that the unsafe roadway design was the proximate cause of a particular accident.
The road must be constructed in accordance with applicable design and engineering standards that existed at the time of the road's building; and must be kept up to date with these safety standards as time goes on. If a roadway, after it is built, shows a pattern of serious accidents that are related to its design, the government may decide to undertake a significant reconstruction or repair of the road to upgrade the design to follow current standards and practices and to address the obvious design defect. However, just because the government undertakes to fix this type of roadway design problem after accidents begin to occur does not mean that they are immune from suit for the accidents that have already occurred due to the negligent roadway design. If you are injured on a roadway that has a history of causing serious accidents due to its design, contact our firm for a free consultation and to discuss how we may be able to secure compensation for you if you are injured due to a defective roadway design.
In one case, a New York court held that a city was responsible for a man's death because it knew that a road encouraged speeding and dangerous driving leading to injuries, but it failed to study traffic calming measures and how the risk could be mitigated. The court held that an unjustifiable delay in implementing a remedial plan constituted a breach of the municipality's duty to the public to keep its roads safe.
When suing any governmental body, additional procedural rules must be followed beyond those required to sue a private person. Pursuant to New York General Municipal Law Section 50-e, a Notice of Claim (a document describing certain facts about a particular accident which is designed to give notice to the government of your intention to sue so that the government may investigate the claim) must be properly served within a 90-day window after an accident occurs. There are various technical aspects of any claim against a government entity that must be followed, and you should consult with experienced Bronx accident lawyers such as those at our firm to ensure that you do not forfeit any rights due to a failure to comply with these strict requirements if you think that a governmental entity is responsible for your accident caused by a defective roadway design.Call Our Expert Car Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Defective Roadway Design Accident Case Today
If you are seriously injured as a result of a dangerous roadway design in New York City, you should hire an experienced and aggressive trial attorney. Our firm is selective both in the cases that it chooses and the attorneys whom it hires. Our lawyers come from Top 20 nationally ranked law schools and are nationally recognized and honored for being at the top of their field. We have a success rate of more than 95% in lawsuits. For a free consultation and no-obligation investigation of your case by our attorneys, call us at (718) 354-8000 or contact us through our online form. We represent people involved in pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and all other types of car accidents and truck accidents in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.