Auto accidents are often caused by driver error, but in some cases, car crashes are actually caused by road defects and infrastructure flaws. Even in those cases where a road defects doesn’t cause an auto accident, it may exacerbate the accident. For instance, the lack of a guardrail on the roadway could cause a car to flip over or roll down a hill after an accident.
Road defects and infrastructure deficiencies put the lives of millions of drivers at risk every day. In fact, according to an article in the Daily News, 260 million drivers are put at risk each day when they drive on aging bridges throughout the country. The article indicates that an alarming one out of every nine bridges in the United States—totaling 66,503 bridges across the country—has been found to have one or more significant defects, according to a June report by Transportation for America.
Dilapidated bridges and other road defects aren’t just a theoretical problem either. Last May, a bridge on Interstate Highway 5 in Washington buckled when a truck slammed into an overhead girder, leaving three people injured and resulting in $15 million in property damage. And, in 2007, a bridge collapse in Minneapolis during the evening rush hour killed 13 people, injured 145 others, and resulting in $234 million in repair costs.
The Daily News article reports that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. an overall grade of D+ in connection with infrastructure and estimated that the federal government will need to spend $20.5 billion each year, rather than the $12.8 billion that it is currently spending, just to keep the nation’s bridges safe – not to mention the costs of repairing decrepit bridges.
Unfortunately, Congress has been reluctant to take any comprehensive measures to provide a long-term solution to the nation’s bridge, roadway, and infrastructure problems. Instead, Congress has chosen to allocate money for repairs in shorter, two-year allotments, which many experts say is inadequate to ensure safe bridges and roadways.
If an auto accident is caused or exacerbated by an unsafe bridge or other road defect, the government responsible for the roadway could be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Assessing liability for accidents caused by poor road conditions requires a careful evaluation and investigation, however, since there are often complex issues of multiple liability and comparative negligence.
Our experienced Chicago auto accident attorneys are dedicated to ensuring that roadways are safe for motorists and protecting the rights of injured motorists in the event that a road defect causes or exacerbates an accident. We work with engineers, safety investigators, and accident investigators to thoroughly examine the facts surrounding the accident to determine liability for the accident and whether it was due to road defects.
The knowledgeable Illinois road defect attorneys at Ankin Law Offices can assess the specific facts of an auto accident to determine whether a road defect was a contributing factor to the accident. Contact one of our experienced auto accident attorneys to schedule a free consultation to discuss whether an unsafe bridge or other road defect may have been the cause or contributing factor of your auto accident.