Seattle Dangerous Road Accident Lawyers
Auto accidents can lead to traumatizing and life-altering injuries. Victims of auto accidents often find themselves with serious injuries, astronomical medical bills, and suffering from pain or living with impairments. While the cause of many auto accidents is clear – drunk drivers, distracted drivers, speeding drivers, or others – sometimes accidents are caused by a failure of an agency to maintain roads, streets, or highways in a safe condition for motorists. Potholes, unclear signs, construction debris, poor grading, or other failures can contribute to a disaster on the road. In such cases, the governmental entity responsible for maintaining or designing that roadway could be held liable.
If you or a loved one are a victim of a dangerous roadway accident, you are facing a complicated process when filing a claim or lawsuit. Instead of being up against another individual or auto insurance agency, you may be dealing with a government agency, a construction company, or a road designer. Thankfully, the acclaimed Seattle auto accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.C., have years of experience fighting for victims of dangerous roadway accidents – and we know what it takes to recover the maximum in compensation these complex cases. To learn more through a no-cost consultation, call us at (888) 995-0612.
Dangerous Road Accident Recoveries
- $1,625,000 recovery for a wrongful death claim for the family of a man killed as the result of a highway design defect.
The governing body in charge of a roadway is responsible for its design and upkeep. Here are a few examples of dangerous road conditions that may result in collision:
- Construction debris in the road
- Potholes or road damage
- Worn roads
- Inadequate signage
- Insufficient lighting
- Hidden signage (from overgrown trees or other causes)
- Inadequate or damaged guardrails
- Poorly designed roads
- Standing water
- Rough roads
The Washington State Department of Transportation is entrusted to maintain a safe condition of the roadways, but like any organization, they aren’t always perfect. Mistakes happen, and some highways, streets, or roads are not properly maintained. Unfortunately, a failure to maintain the roadway can result in tragic, life-altering accidents for innocent drivers and their passengers.
Seattle motorists should exercise great caution when traversing certain streets, highways, and intersections that are known to be accident hotspots, including the following:
- Highway 2
- Interstate 5
- Aurora Avenue North
- Pike Street
- 9th and James
- 3rd Avenue and Pike Street
- 8th Avenue and Pike Street
- Northwest 85th Street and 15th Avenue Northwest
- East Thomas Street and 11th Avenue East
- Westlake Avenue North and Valley Street
In a case involving a dangerous roadway, it is necessary to establish that another party was negligent, and that the act of negligence led to the injuries and damages. Your auto insurance could cover some of your costs, but recovering full compensation may involve a much more complicated process best handled by a trusted auto accident attorney.
Determining liability in a dangerous roadway accident can be a difficult process, simply because of the number of potentially liable parties. Some examples are:
- WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation)
- Roadway maintenance subcontractors
- Streetlight manufacturers
- Streetlight installers
- Road designers
- Insurance companies
Did the condition of the roadway cause an injury? Was the government aware of the problem and failed to fix it? Was there ample time to rectify the problem? Does that location have a history of injury accidents? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the injured victim of the dangerous roadway accident in Seattle may have a viable claim against the government. It takes an experienced and tenacious Seattle dangerous road accident lawyer to pursue a case against a governmental entity, which almost always involves additional procedures and red tape.
Like any car accident, the compensation you deserve depends on the severity of your injuries. However, it is vital that your attorney reviews your case and works with your doctors to evaluate the full scope of your injuries in determining what your case is worth. Serious injuries can appear minor at first but could have long-term ramifications without immediate treatment. Some of the common damages that our clients are compensated for include:
- Current and estimated future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity and career
- Emotional anguish
If a loved one was killed in a dangerous roadway accident, specific close family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim and may seek damages, including but not limited to:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The emotional distress of family and loved ones
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of services and support
Maintaining and improving local roads to ensure safe driving conditions for every motor vehicle is the duty of government agencies. Unfortunately, it can prove difficult to secure adequate funding for these types of programs, important as they may be. Many governmental agencies also put traffic safety projects in the back burner because of funding issues. There are several safety grant programs governmental agencies can utilize to make their cities and communities safer.
A number of major highway safety organizations as well as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) have joined forces to request congress to fully fund Section 405. It is a performance-based incentive program to help states address key areas of safety, including:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Motorcycle safety
- Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws
- Occupant protection
As a result of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, which was signed on December 4, 2015, Section 405, as well as Section 402, will receive $2.7 billion in funding for the fiscal years of 2016 to 2020. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), failure to fund Section 405 can result in a significant increase in traffic fatalities across the county. Without federal support, states such as Washington will experience a significant reduction in funding.
Section 405 is certainly one of the most important and comprehensive highway safety programs, but it is not the only government program that helps saves lives. Congress has revised, updated, and added safety grant programs through the creation of incentive grants, penalties, and sanctions, including:
- Section 402: The Highway Safety Act of 1966 authorized the first federal highway safety program, Section 402. Section 402 provides grants to states to improve driver behavior and reduce injuries and fatalities suffered in vehicle-related crashes.
- Section 154: In addition to funding Section 402 and 405, the FAST Act Section 154 encourages states to enact an open container law.
- Section 164: States are also encouraged by Section 164 to enact a repeat offender law.
Under various other behavioral highway safety programs, states can receive funding to increase safety belt use, prevent racial profiling, and raise awareness about proper child safety and child booster seat use.
In addition to grants and safety programs, there are many ways that the government can help prevent traffic accidents. DUI roadblocks and saturation patrols have proven effective in catching drunk drivers. Graduated Driver Licensing programs and distracted driving awareness programs have helped prevent teen driver fatalities. Remaining committed to designing and maintaining safe roadways can also help prevent tragic accidents.
Facing off against lawyers representing a government agency, a corporation, or an insurance company on your own can be challenging if not impossible. Without a trusted personal injury attorney by your side, it may be assumed that you will accept a low settlement. Unless you are a personal injury lawyer, you likely are unsure about what damages you can pursue, or how much your case is worth. That’s when our team of trial lawyers can step in to manage all of the legal matters associated with your case.
If you are represented by a well-known, respected injury lawyer with a record of high-value settlements and jury awards, the opposing lawyers will be more amenable to making a fair settlement offer – in the end, it can save them the expense of a trial. With our extensive knowledge and experience, once we take on your case, we will fight for justice and full compensation. Our cases are represented with our no-fee guarantee – you owe us no legal fees unless we are successful.
Hardwick & Pendergast, P.C., is a premier Seattle-based law firm dedicated to helping victims of personal injury. With over 40 years of experience successfully protecting the rights of the injured and helping them put their lives back together, you can be confident that we know our business. We fight to achieve the maximum possible for our clients and have recovered millions of dollars over our years in practice. Our principal and managing attorney, Joseph “J.P.” Pendergast, is an award-winning attorney with a 10.0 Avvo rating and is a member of the elite Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are here for you so that you can focus on your recovery, your family, and your health, while we handle the rest. Contact us today at (888) 228-3860 to schedule a free consultation.
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