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If you’ve been injured or lost someone you love in an accident that involved an ET-Plus or X-LITE guardrail end terminal, you may be entitled to compensation. Several lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of these end terminals alleging they have a design flaw that causes the guardrail to penetrate into vehicles and severely injure drivers and passengers.

If you intend to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim, the smartest step you can take to protect your legal rights is to speak with a well-credentialed guardrail injury attorney. Putting off your consultation for just a few days may prove to be a costly mistake since valuable evidence is often time-sensitive, and one misguided statement could jeopardize your entire case.

Let’s examine a few reasons why it’s a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer right away:

Essential Evidence May Be Time-Sensitive

Obtaining access to the guardrail before it is repaired, replaced, or disposed of can be the difference between winning and losing a guardrail case. A guardrail injury attorney can use highly precise devices to scan and record the guardrail, scene, and vehicle to preserve essential evidence. While it might be possible to succeed in a case after some delay, performing an immediate investigation may increase the chances of obtaining a fair settlement.

There are many other types of evidence that could be time-sensitive. For example, more vehicles are equipped with dashcams than ever before, and it’s not uncommon for accidents to be recorded by the surveillance cameras of nearby businesses. This footage may help your attorney prove liability, but it will likely be overwritten within a few weeks or perhaps just days of the crash.

Any Statements You Provide Might Be Used to Dispute Your Claim 

Insurance companies and corporations employ all sorts of tactics to minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay to personal injury victims. One strategy they often use is to ask leading questions in a recorded conversation to coerce the claimant into providing a statement that can be used to dispute liability or damages. If you hire an attorney from day one, however, your lawyer can handle all correspondence with the opposing party on your behalf.

Mistakes Early in the Proceedings Could Derail Your Entire Case

You may already know a few of the common mistakes to avoid after a car accident, such as admitting fault or delaying your doctor’s visit, but there are countless other errors and oversights that might jeopardize your claim. For example, if you return to work or start participating in physical activities before your doctor says it’s okay to do so, the insurer might say that you’ve failed to mitigate your damages. Simply put, if you fail to take reasonable steps to facilitate your recovery—i.e. if you disobey the instructions of your healthcare providers or do anything that might cause your injuries to worsen—you might not be able to recover compensation for 100 percent of your damages.

 

Another common mistake made by accident victims is posting about their case online. Any mention of the collision or your claim—or even just a photo of you taken after the crash—might be lead to a dispute.

 

Your attorney can explain the mistakes you must avoid and the steps you must take to give your claim the highest chance of resulting in a fair settlement. The sooner you seek legal guidance, the less likely you may be to make a costly error.

 

Discuss Your Case with a Guardrail Injury Lawyer: Call 877-544-5323

At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we offer aggressive representation to people who have been injured or lost family members in accidents involving defective guardrails and end terminals. Our tenacious approach to representation has resulted in more than $250 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Call or text us at 877-544-5323 or send us a message online to schedule a free case assessment.

All drivers accept some degree of risk when they get behind the wheel. They know there’s always a chance of coming across a drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent driver. But nobody expects to be injured or killed by a malfunctioning guardrail. Over recent months, however, more reports have surfaced about defective guardrail end terminals impaling vehicles and causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries to drivers and passengers.

Specifically, the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal has been blamed for numerous traffic deaths, and multiple lawsuits have been filed as a result. Below, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about ET-Plus guardrail lawsuits:

  1. What exactly is the “end terminal” of a guardrail and how is it supposed to work?

Guardrails are installed along highways and other roadways to prevent cars from going off embankments or veering into oncoming traffic in the event the driver loses control or goes off course. The end terminals are the parts installed where the guardrail begins and ends.

Federal regulations require guardrail end terminals to “telescope” inward or to be directed away from the car upon impact. When a driver hits an end terminal and it doesn’t function as intended, the steel rails can penetrate the vehicle, causing severe injuries to occupants.

  1. What is the alleged defect in the ET-Plus guardrail end terminal?

The end terminals of the ET-Plus guardrail, manufactured by Dallas-based Trinity Industries, Inc., are designed to absorb pressure and push the metal railings through a U-shaped chute and away from the vehicle upon impact. However, lawsuits allege that the ET-Plus guardrails have been jamming and breaking, and penetrating vehicles as a result. One study published by The Safety Institute, a non-profit product safety advocacy organization, determined that the ET-Plus end terminals were nearly three times as likely to cause a fatality than Trinity’s previous model.

  1. What’s an example of an ET-Plus guardrail-related accident?

Twenty-one-year-old Omar Artis of Peoria, Illinois, died in the hospital shortly after his car veered off Interstate 155 and struck the end terminal of an ET-Plus guardrail in 2015. The guardrail failed to absorb the energy or divert the metal railing away from the vehicle, instead piercing the car’s grill and penetrating the length of the vehicle, impaling Artis.

  1. What claims are being made in the lawsuits against Trinity Industries, Inc.?

A Virginia guardrail engineer testified in a federal lawsuit that Trinity failed to notify the Federal Highway Administration about a change in the design of its end terminal. The change allegedly saved the company on costs, but crash tests showed that the new design had a high failure rate, resulting in cars being speared or flipped. Trinity was held liable for fraud in 2014 in a federal lawsuit filed by the State of Virginia; the $175 million verdict was later tripled.

In 2015, a U.S. district court jury returned a $663 million verdict against Trinity, also for fraud, for falsifying federal certification claims related to its ET-Plus products.

The families of those who have been killed or injured in accidents involving ET-Plus end terminals have also filed lawsuits. Legal claims made against Trinity include the following:

  • Strict product liability
  • Negligence
  • Willful and wanton conduct
  • Breach of warranty
  • Negligent infliction of emotional distress
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress

Set up a Free Consultation with an ET-Plus Guardrail Injury Lawyer

The skilled attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC have a deep understanding of the case law and statutes pertaining to ET-Plus guardrail lawsuits. If you were injured or lost a family member due to the failure of an ET-Plus guardrail end terminal, you may be entitled to compensation.

Our firm has recovered more than $250 million in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Contact our office via phone or text message at (877) 544- 5323 for a free consultation, or send us a message online. We’ll come to you if you’re unable to visit our office.

Over recent months, more reports have surfaced of defective guardrails impaling vehicles and causing serious and fatal injuries to drivers and passengers. Victims and their families have filed lawsuits against Lindsay Corporation, the company that manufactured the X-LITE guardrail end terminals. Besides alleging that the end terminals have a defective design, complaints have also alleged that the guardrails were negligently installed.

Negligent Guardrail Installation Blamed for Serious Injuries

Guardrails are supposed to absorb energy upon impact—usually by “telescoping” inward. When the end terminals don’t perform as intended, whether due to a defective design or negligent installation, the result can be catastrophic for drivers and passengers.

A Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) survey found that installation crews have had a difficult time installing the X-LITE end terminals due to unclear instructions. One lawsuit alleges that Lindsay Corporation failed to “adequately provide proper and clear installation, repair, maintenance, and/or instruction manuals.”

But not all such claims allege that inadequate instructions are to blame for the improper installation. Some have alleged negligence on the part of companies or state departments approving the installation of faulty guardrails, or workers using negligent installation techniques.

Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by Negligently Installed Guardrails?

When a person is injured due to negligent guardrail installation, the liable party could be a government entity or the company hired to install the guardrail.

One case that went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) liable for injuries caused by its negligent decision to install guardrails that already had been deemed as not being “crashworthy.” At issue was the state’s Sovereign Immunity Act, which protects the state from liability for damages in certain negligence claims.

The appellants claimed that PennDOT should have known that the “boxing glove” style guardrails that were installed—which penetrated the appellants’ vehicle upon impact and caused serious injuries—weren’t crashworthy. They also claimed that PennDOT “failed to inspect or correct” the problem.

In cases where otherwise safe guardrails malfunctioned because of negligent installation by the workers themselves, companies contracted to do the work may be held liable through the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Call (877) 544- 5323 to Discuss Your Case with a Guardrail Injury Lawyer Today

At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we understand that nothing can undo the tragedy of sustaining a serious injury or losing a loved one in a car accident. But by taking legal action against those responsible, you may be able to recover the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost income, and other damages.

An experienced guardrail injury attorney at our firm can answer your questions and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed. We have recovered more than $250 million in personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Contact our office via phone or text message at (877) 544- 5323 for a free consultation, or send us a message online. We can come to you if you are unable to come to us.

 

Guardrails are intended to reduce the risk of injury and death by absorbing the force of impact and preventing vehicles from leaving the roadway. But when a guardrail has a defective design or another dangerous flaw, it can actually do more harm than good.

Over recent months, several lawsuits have been filed against Lindsay Corporation and co-defendants claiming the X-LITE guardrail end terminals have caused serious injuries and death due to an inherent design flaw. The lawsuits allege that the X-LITE end terminal penetrates into vehicles upon impact rather than telescoping into itself as it is designed to do, putting drivers and their passengers at risk.

Causes of Action in X-LITE Guardrail Lawsuits

Lawsuits against Lindsay Corp. and co-defendants have cited several causes of action including defective design, deceptive advertising, and failure to provide adequate installation instructions. The father of deceased Tennessee teenager Hannah Eimers (who was struck in the chest and head by an X-LITE end terminal) claims that the state’s Department of Transportation (TDOT) knew the system was dangerous but left it in place. A TDOT spokesperson stated the guardrail was actually removed from their “qualified products list” just days before Eimers’ death.

Similarly, Virginia motorist Sarah Weinberg was killed after pieces of an X-LITE guardrail end terminal penetrated her vehicle. Roughly 1,000 of these guardrails remain in the state, with an estimated 14,000 installed nationwide.

Other causes of action include deceptive advertising and general negligence. Some lawsuits also allege the guardrails weren’t properly installed due to inadequate instructions. Meanwhile, Lindsay Corp. claims its X-LITE guardrail end terminals have passed crash and safety tests in accordance with federal standards.

If you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a car accident that you believe was made worse by a defective X-LITE guardrail end terminal, it’s important that you speak with an attorney right away. The case law and statutes pertaining to product liability claims of this nature are complex, but a seasoned personal injury lawyer with the right experience will be able to answer your questions, gather time-sensitive evidence, and help you navigate the proceedings.

Discuss Your Case with a Guardrail Injury Attorney in Virginia

At the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, our lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the X-LITE’s design flaws and are well-versed in the statutes and case law pertaining to these cases. If you or someone you love was injured due to an X-LITE guardrail end terminal, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. One of our guardrail injury lawyers will assess your case for free, explain the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, and help you determine the most strategic way to proceed.

We have recovered more than $250 million in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call or text our office today at (877) 544-5323 for a free consultation, or send us a message online. We can come to you if you cannot come to us.

More reports are surfacing across the nation linking X-LITE guardrail end terminals to deaths and serious injuries. Lawsuits filed against Lindsay Corporation, the manufacturer of X-LITE end terminals, allege the guardrail system has an inherent design flaw that prevents it from telescoping into itself, causing the end terminals to penetrate into vehicles and impale drivers and passengers.

Concealed Safety Defects: What You Don’t See Can Be Deadly

A defective guardrail can be more dangerous than having no guardrail at all. In one especially tragic incident, 37-year-old Sarah Weinberg was killed after she went off Interstate 66 in Tennessee and struck an X-LITE guardrail end terminal almost head on, according to her family’s attorney. She was driving home to visit her family for Christmas.

In another case, Tennessee teenager Hannah Eimers was killed after going off the road, attempting to correct course, and then slamming the driver’s side door into the guardrail end terminal. She died instantly when she was impaled by a metal rail that failed to telescope upon impact, but her passenger walked away with just a small cut.

Thousands of these guardrail systems have been installed across the country, primarily in Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

Lindsay Corporation maintains its position that these guardrails have passed inspections but that no test could replicate all possible accident scenarios. Still, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has removed the X-LITE end terminals from its list of qualified products in the wake of mounting evidence that their alleged design flaws caused preventable injuries.

What to Do If You Were Injured by an X-LITE Guardrail End Terminal

If you were injured or lost a member of your family in an accident that involved an X-LITE guardrail end terminal, you may be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, obtaining a financial recovery may involve an uphill legal battle.

Here are a few tips to give your claim the best possible chance of success:

  • Visit a doctor right away for an official diagnosis;
  • Contact a guardrail injury attorney as soon as possible;
  • Direct all correspondence from the insurance company or anyone affiliated with Lindsay Corporation to your lawyer;
  • Follow the instructions of your healthcare provider; and
  • Don’t discuss your accident or injury on social media.

Speak with an X-LITE Guardrail Injury Attorney Today: Call (877) 544-5323

An experienced guardrail injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC can review the facts of your case in a free consultation, answer your questions, and help you determine how best to proceed with your claim. You won’t have to pay any attorney’s fees unless we win.

Our lawyers and outstanding support staff have recovered more than $250 million in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Contact our office via phone or text message at (877) 544-5323 to speak with a member of our team, or send us a message online.