Guardrail Injury News & Latest Information

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If you intend to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim after a guardrail accident, you may be wondering whether you should navigate the proceedings alone or hire an attorney. Although you have the right to bring the case without a lawyer, doing so is never a good idea if you’ve suffered a severe injury or lost a family member.

Since the damages will likely be substantial, you can expect the defendant and their insurance company to resist your claim at every turn. One inadvertent mistake or misguided statement could be all it takes to cause a dispute that leads to the denial of your claim or a significant reduction in its value. Something as simple as a social media post could derail your entire case, but a skilled guardrail injury attorney can help you avoid costly errors and ensure you are treated fairly.

Read on to learn a few more reasons why it’s a good idea to hire a guardrail accident lawyer:

  1. Has Access to Relevant Experts

To win a claim against a guardrail manufacturer, it must be shown that the guardrail was defective and that this defect was the actual or proximate cause of the injury or death. Establishing causation will likely require the deposition of an accident reconstruction expert. A seasoned attorney will have access to such an expert and will know how to get the most value out of his or her deposition.

  1. Can Take over Correspondence with the Opposing Party

The insurance company and guardrail manufacturer will go to great lengths to minimize their liability or to deny your claim outright. One of the most common and effective tactics they may use is to ask leading questions during a recorded conversation to elicit responses that bring liability or the severity of injuries into question. By letting an attorney take over this correspondence, you won’t have to worry about providing any harmful statements.

  1. Has Knowledge of Relevant Case Law and Statutes

Chances are you don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the case law and statutes that pertain to guardrail accident claims. An attorney with the right knowledge and experience can help you account for all relevant deadlines, avoid complications due to legal technicalities, and take the necessary steps to ensure your claim is as strong as possible before settlement negotiations begin.

  1. Can File Subpoenas for Evidence That’s Being Withheld

When facing a personal injury or wrongful death claim, guardrail manufacturers might choose to withhold evidence of liability (or fraud). Your lawyer can apply legal pressure to obtain that evidence.

  1. Can Help You Avoid Mistakes

We’ve already discussed a few mistakes that could derail your case such as providing a recorded statement and missing important deadlines. But there are countless other errors that might jeopardize your claim such as missing doctor’s appointments or failing to identify all potentially liable parties. Your lawyer can help you avoid critical oversights and make sure you are well-represented throughout the proceedings.

Dial 877-544-5323 to Speak with a Guardrail Injury Attorney

If you were hurt or someone you love died in an accident involving an ET-Plus or X-LITE guardrail, contact The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC. Reports have surfaced linking these guardrails to numerous injuries and deaths. Our law firm is proud to help victims and their families navigate the legal system and fight for the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call or text 877-544-5323 or send us a message online.

Strong evidence is the key to winning any personal injury or wrongful death claim. If you were hurt or lost someone you love in a guardrail accident, there are several elements you will need to prove in order to win a settlement or trial verdict. Those elements are:

  • The guardrail contained an unreasonably dangerous defect;
  • The defect was the actual or proximate cause of the injury or death;
  • The defendant played a role in the design or manufacturing of the product; and
  • The value of the damages incurred.

Strict liability applies to product defect cases in many states, which means a finding of negligence or intent isn’t necessary to impose liability. But if you’re unable to prove any one of the elements listed above, you won’t be able to recover an award of damages.

Below are a few kinds of evidence your guardrail injury lawyer might use to prove liability and damages:

  • Photographs: Pictures of injuries, the crash scene, and debris on the road can be used to prove the severity of the impact and to piece together what happened in the moments leading up to the accident.
  • The Vehicle: It’s essential that you preserve the damaged vehicle so it can be evaluated by your guardrail injury lawyer and perhaps an accident reconstruction expert.
  • The Police Report: The police report should contain details about the time and location of the crash, the apparent cause, and perhaps statements from those involved as well as eyewitnesses
  • Eyewitness Testimony: The deposition and testimony of eyewitnesses might help to corroborate other evidence.
  • Expert Witness Testimony: Experts in guardrail design, accident reconstruction, economics, and certain medical fields might be brought in to provide deposition and testimony.
  • Documentation of Guardrail Redesign: The ET-Plus guardrail has been connected to numerous injuries and deaths since an alleged redesign took place in 2005. Reports indicate that a metal component was reduced by 1 inch, saving the manufacturer money but increasing the risk of injury or death to those involved in an accident with the guardrail. Any documentation related to this redesign might be used to prove the source of the defect in question.
  • Medical Records: Diagnostic images and other medical records can be used to prove the severity of injuries.

 Medical Bills: Your lawyer will need documentation to prove the cost of the medical care you or your loved one underwent following the accident.

  • Financial Documents: Financial records can be used to prove the value of lost income and perhaps loss of future earnings.
  • Receipts and Invoices: Be sure to preserve any receipts or invoices for expenses you incur as a result of the injury including transportation costs, domestic help, and/or childcare.

 Schedule a Free Consultation with a Guardrail Injury Attorney

At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we are proud to represent those who have suffered injuries or lost family members in car accidents involving defective guardrails. We accept cases from all across the United States. To schedule a free consultation, text or call us at 877-544-5323, or send us a message online.

 

 

 

 

 

If you were seriously injured or lost a family member in a guardrail accident, you may be wondering what types of damages you can pursue. The answer to this question depends on several factors including the state where the accident happened, the type of claim you’re bringing (personal injury, wrongful death, or survival action), the severity of your injuries, and the kinds of damages incurred.

Under the pressure of mounting expenses, many personal injury victims choose to accept a quick settlement, only to find out later that they left considerable funds on the table. Whether you bring a claim against the guardrail manufacturer, another at-fault party, or your own first-party coverage, the insurance company has the incentive to pay out as little as possible.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the kinds of personal injury damages available in your state and the circumstances under which they might be recoverable. A guardrail injury attorney can assess the facts of your case and the evidence you’ve gathered to provide insight into the damages that might be available; however, it’s important to remember that a thorough investigation must be conducted to determine damages and approximate a fair settlement amount. 

Types of Damages in Guardrail Injury Lawsuits

In most states, the damages in a tort action can be divided into compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages include economic and non-economic damages, while punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior.

The following compensatory damages might be available to people who have suffered injuries due to defective guardrails:

  • Past and future healthcare bills
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Damaged property
  • Other objectively verifiable damages such as domestic help and home modifications
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life

The spouses of personal injury victims might also be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium. The legal definition of loss of consortium varies by state but generally refers to the loss of love, affection, companionship, and/or intimacy.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases since these damages aren’t actually intended to compensate the victim for his or her losses but, rather, to punish the defendant. These damages are only warranted in cases involving egregious behavior. The specific circumstances when punitive damages are awarded vary by state. In a guardrail injury case, punitive damages might be available if it can be proven that the defendant was fraudulently concealing evidence of a dangerous defect.

Even if the guardrail manufacturer did not conceal evidence, you might still be able to recover compensatory damages. In many states, product manufacturers may be held strictly liable for damages resulting from a product defect, meaning that a finding of fault isn’t necessary to impose liability.

Call or Text 877-544-5323 to Speak with a Guardrail Injury Lawyer

 At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we accept guardrail injury cases from all around the United States. Our lawyers can review your case in a free consultation and help you make informed decisions. Call or text 877-544-5323 or send us a message to speak with a member of our team.

Guardrails are intended to reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident and to prevent vehicles from leaving the roadway. Given the critical role that guardrails play in road safety, a minor defect in their design or manufacturing could have devastating consequences for drivers and passengers. If a person suffers an injury or dies due to a guardrail defect, that individual (or his or her surviving loved ones) may have grounds for a claim against the guardrail manufacturer.

Whether or not you have grounds for a claim depends on several factors including:

  1. Whether the Defect Was the Proximate Cause of the Injury or Death

Even if a defective guardrail was in fact involved in the accident, the manufacturer wouldn’t be liable unless the defect contributed to the resulting damages. For example, let’s assume a driver hydroplanes on a puddle, loses control, and the vehicle flips. The vehicle then has a minor impact with a guardrail that contains a manufacturing defect.

In this scenario, it’s unlikely that anyone injured in the crash would have grounds for a claim against the guardrail manufacturer since the defect was not the proximate cause of the accident or any subsequent injury or death. However, if a driver collides with a guardrail and the vehicle is speared by metal rails due to a defect, and this results in death or injury to a vehicle occupant, the guardrail manufacturer may be liable for damages.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Trinity Industries over an alleged design defect in its ET-Plus guardrail. Reports allege that a metal component of the end terminals was reduced by 1 inch to save the company money, but this increased the risk of injury or death when vehicles crash into the guardrail. If you or a member of your family was injured in an accident involving an ET-Plus guardrail, you might have grounds for a claim against Trinity Industries.

  1. Your Relationship with the Victim (in the case of wrongful death)

In most states, only certain family members of the deceased or a personal representative of the deceased’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim and/or survival action. If your loved one was killed due to a defective guardrail, whether or not you have grounds for a claim or would be a beneficiary of any recovered damages will depend on your relationship to the deceased.

  1. Whether Damages Were Incurred

 If neither you nor a member of your family suffered damages as a result of the accident, you wouldn’t have grounds for a claim against the guardrail manufacturer. For example, let’s assume you were a passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a guardrail. Due to a defect, the metal rails of the guardrail speared into the vehicle, resulting in serious injury to the driver; however, you walked away from the scene without injury. In this scenario, it’s unlikely that you would have grounds for a claim since no damages were incurred.

 

Speak with a Guardrail Injury Attorney Today: Call 877-544-5323

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call. At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we offer strategic and aggressive representation to those who have lost loved ones or suffered injuries in guardrail accidents. To schedule a free case review with a guardrail injury lawyer, call or text 877-544-5323, or send us a message on our Contact Page.

Defective guardrail systems have been linked to dozens of serious injuries and deaths over recent years. In particular, numerous lawsuits have alleged that the X-LITE and ET-Plus guardrail end terminals have a design flaw that causes the metal rails to penetrate into vehicles and impale drivers.

If you’ve been injured or lost a family member in a guardrail accident, you might have grounds for a claim against the guardrail manufacturer; however, since these companies have the resources to challenge any claim that comes their way, it’s important that you take steps to strengthen your case, such as:

  1. Take Photos of the Accident Scene

Take pictures of the accident scene from all angles. Be sure to take both close-ups and wide-angle shots of property damage, injuries, debris, and the inside of the vehicle. Even if debris was thrown far away from the crash scene, you should still photograph it. A seemingly insignificant picture might end up being a critical piece of evidence a few months later.

  1. Call a Guardrail Injury Lawyer

Once your health is stable, your first call should be to a guardrail injury attorney. It’s important that your legal team is able to investigate the accident scene before the guardrail has been replaced or repaired. Your lawyer can use precise technology to scan the guardrail, vehicle, and scene to preserve valuable evidence.

  1. Preserve Evidence

 Don’t get your vehicle (or your loved one’s vehicle) fixed until your attorney has had a chance to evaluate and document the property damage. The vehicle will likely serve as critical evidence. Your attorney can take the necessary steps to ensure it doesn’t get sold, destroyed, or scrapped.

  1. Prepare for the Initial Consultation

After you’ve scheduled your free initial consultation with an attorney, take some time to gather any evidence that might contribute to your case. Examples include:

 

  • Photographs and videos of injuries, property damage, and the crash scene;
  • The names and badge numbers of responding officers;
  • Medical records;
  • Recent financial documentation such as paystubs and income tax returns;
  • The contact information of eyewitnesses; and
  • A detailed description of everything you remember about the incident.
  1. Take Steps to Protect Your Claim

Once you’ve hired a guardrail injury attorney, you’ll be able to focus on your health while your case proceeds in good hands; however, there are some steps you can take throughout the proceedings to protect your claim. Examples include:

  • Direct any correspondence from the insurance company to your lawyer;
  • Stay off social media, and ask your friends and family not to post any photos of you;
  • Follow the instructions of your medical providers;
  • Start a personal injury journal in which you document the symptoms you’re experiencing, their severity and frequency, medication side effects, and the ways your injury is affecting your general wellbeing.

 

Call or Text 877-544-5323 to Discuss Your Case with a Guardrail Injury Attorney

 

At The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, PC, we have an in-depth understanding of the nuances pertaining to personal injury and wrongful death cases involving guardrail accidents. We have a 10.0 Avvo rating and have been ranked among the Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report. To schedule a free case review, call or text us at 877-544-5323.