Hundreds of auto accidents happen every day in Illinois. Fortunately, many of these crashes are minor and result only in monetary damage to the vehicles themselves. Yet others are not as lucky as those crashes result in injuries to the drivers or passengers involved. When this happens, it is almost always due to the negligence on the part of one or more drivers, including drivers that are speeding, distracted, or otherwise failing to act in a safe and cautious manner.
News reports often describe accidents as being caused by one factor or one condition, but in fact, that is rarely the case. In the vast majority of crashes, multiple factors lead to an accident and fault may be attributed to multiple people. As an example, a motorist may be speeding but may cause a crash when he looks down at his cell phone. Both the speed of the vehicle and taking his eyes from the road to check his phone likely would be factors in a crash and the combination of the two may be blamed for any resulting injuries. Another common situation is where a driver speeds up to hit a yellow light as the driver travels straight through the intersection. The light may turn red while the driver is in the middle of the intersection and another oncoming driver may initiate a left turn at the same time, causing a crash. Both drivers may bear some of the fault in this case: the first driver for failing to stop for the yellow or red light and the second driver for failing to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic when turning left.
Driver fault is often examined in accidents and it is easy to point fingers and to blame one driver over another. But drivers are not the only factor that can lead to a crash. In a large number of collisions, the roadway plays a role in an accident, either through a poor design in the surface, a poor layout of the road, or poor placement of traffic control devices, intersections, or merge lanes.
Most roads are constructed and maintained by city officials with others being the responsibility of the state or municipality. This means that those responsible for the maintenance of the roads have the power to determine which streets receive upkeep, which pot holes get patched, and which intersections will be redesigned. It also means that these officials or their governments may be liable if a poor road design causes an accident.
Experts estimate that the design of the road itself contributes to about 50 percent of the accidents that occur on American roads every year. This is true just within Illinois as well. Most problematic are country or back roads that wind through the landscape instead of cutting directly through it. Back roads are more likely to have hidden curves, hazards next to the road surface like ditches, and have surfaces that wear more easily than those of a highway. In fact, even though there may be less traffic in a specific back road area than a comparable size area on a highway, back roads still account for a large number of collisions.
These same experts advocate the use of wider shoulders on all roads, expanding narrow bridges, and making light and sign poles that break away when struck, all to limit the number and severity of collisions that occur. With limited resources, governments may be unwilling or unable to take the needed steps to address dangerous road designs and therefore these dangers continue to exist, threatening drivers daily.
One road design condition that is easy to fix is the painting that lines roads and divides lanes. Over time, this paint fades and flakes away, leaving some roads inadequately or improperly marked. This can make it difficult for drivers to discern curves in the road or changes in the road’s direction, especially during inclement weather. Though it is natural for paint to fade as the years pass, it is also the requirement of those in charge of the road to replace or update the paint when necessary. Failing to maintain the road can leave a city liable if the failure to update paint causes an accident.
New safety techniques are being implemented in some areas. These include intersections with greater visibility, grooved pavement or rumble strips between lanes and on road shoulders, and the use of four way stops or traffic lights at busy intersections. Yet these approaches are not being implemented everywhere and drivers in areas without many safety advances are still at risk of injury that results from a crash. Car accidents are likely to result in back and neck injuries, broken bones, or even death in the most severe instances.
Being an accident victim can be devastating. It can leave you with temporary or permanent medical conditions that may prevent you from caring for your loved ones, including children. Injuries can also lead to an inability to work or provide for your family and the need to utilize outside help for your family to survive. When an accident is the fault of another, Illinois recognizes that it can be devastating and therefore the law allows victims to make a financial recovery.
Whether the accident was caused by a poor road design, another driver, or a combination of both, accident victims may be entitled to bring claims for their losses. The law requires that these claims be brought within a limited time period after an accident so it is important that a victim speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a crash. With the assistance of an attorney, you may receive a financial award to compensate you and your family members for your losses, including any medical bills you incur.
Help for Victims of Poor Road Design Car Accidents
At Abels & Annes, P.C., our team of personal injury lawyers have experience representing thousands of car accident victims with road design contributing to a number of those cases. We use our experience to bring claims for past and future expenses that are caused by an accident and we fight for the best possible recovery in each case. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we make it our job to provide victims with the representation they deserve as they recover and we can be reached 24 hours a day at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575.
We offer all injury victims a free case consultation without any obligation on their part and everything discussed during the call will be kept confidential. Further, if we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf. Our team of dedicated injury lawyers are standing by now so do not wait – if an accident has affected your life, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us fight for your rights.
If you have been hurt in an accident caused by poor road design, contact us online for a free case consultation or call us today at (855) LAW-CHICAGO.