Highway guardrails are supposed to protect Missouri and Illinois residents when they take to the American roadways. Instead, some are now alleging that a modification in the design of the guardrail head models back in 2005 are causing severe injuries — and even death — to innocent citizens driving our highways. Those who have suffered such losses may be able to seek the assistance of a St. Louis personal injury car accident attorney to take legal action in a civil court of law. This could help them pay for medical and other related expenses that often result from severe injuries or unexpected death.
The alleged flaw in the design of the guardrail head model lies in the fact that the size of the newer models was decreased from five inches in width to four inches instead. Standing 15 inches high with an exit chute of one-and-a-half inches, the previous models were designed to thrust away from the vehicles which impacted the guardrails. One man is now claiming that the smaller terminal heads in the guardrails leads to the railing doing one of two things: either becoming wedged behind the head or spearing inside a car and toward its precious occupants.
Victims Can Be Seriously Injured by New Highway Guardrail Design
Just some of those apparently affected by this change in guardrail head design include an 18-year-old whose leg was sliced by a guardrail when it actually came through his truck’s floorboard. Another person, a mother, perished in a motor vehicle accident after a guardrail smashed directly across her SUV. More recently, a family traveling in their vehicle actually had to witness their 2-year-old son Ethan becoming pinned against his car seat by a guardrail which shot through their vehicle. That little boy suffered significant injuries due to being pinned in the vehicle; including a pelvis broken in two places and trauma to his brain.
The father has recounted the horror of having to see his son hanging upside down, trapped inside his car seat, not to mention hearing him scream. That man said that he has never felt more helpless in his life, witnessing the sheer terror his children were experiencing and being unable to do anything about it.
One man who works in the industry is trying to get the word out that this design change can be dangerous to Americans on the roadways. He has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of most of the guardrails currently being used across the country. He said that he wants to spread the truth about this risk to families, maintaining that the newer, smaller models just don’t work the way they were originally designed to function. He points out that with his 25 years of experience in the industry, the cases that are coming to light over the past few years are unlike anything he has ever seen before.
You or a Loved One May Be Able to Take Action to Seek Restitution
These guardrails aren’t just being used in all 50 states of our country, either: they are in use across at least 60 countries worldwide. In our own nation, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) representatives have alleged that they received no advance warning about the design changes to guardrail heads until a vast number of them had been installed on American roadways. The man who filed the lawsuit against the major guardrail manufacturer points out that this is a huge issue, since federal regulations require guardrail manufacturers to disclose any design modifications to the FHWA.
That man believes that the design change was implemented for the simple fact that the maker can now sell more of the guardrail heads. While it is not yet clear how this case will play out in court, it does seem clear that those who have been injured in motor vehicle accidents where this guardrail design change plays a role may be able to pursue financial restitution for their damages.
It can be important to remember that you have legal rights if you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, whether it involves a highway guardrail being allegedly defective or some other contributing factor. Please consider contacting my St. Louis personal injury law firm toll-free at 1-888-586-7041 as soon as possible so we can discuss the facts of your case. The sooner you take action to discover how the law can help you gain justice, the stronger your case may be. Consulting with me will cost you nothing, and my law firm will only collect fees in the event that we are successful in gaining a financial award or settlement on your behalf.
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