Fulton County Unsafe Highway and Guardrail Accidents
While the majority of motor vehicle accidents are caused by careless or distracted drivers, some car accidents in Fulton County and the surrounding areas of Georgia are the result of highway defects and faulty guardrails. When a highway or guardrail is not properly designed or maintained, this may create an independent basis for imposing liability on the public entity under whose authority the roadway falls. Whether it is the state of Georgia, Fulton County or a municipality, the proper design, construction and maintenance of public streets, highways and their physical features are the responsibility of a government entity. When the public agency fails to uphold its responsibility to those who use the roadways by not building and maintaining safe roads, the result can be devastating injuries and wrongful death.
There are many factors that can make the highways that run through Fulton County unsafe, including a lack of warnings about adverse road conditions, inadequate placement of signs, poorly managed work zones, pavement defects, drop-offs on the edge of the roadway, lack of traffic signals or signs and more. Public entities have a legal duty to provide roads that are reasonably safe and to correct unsafe conditions that the entity knows or should know exist. This may be established by providing evidence of prior complaints by motorists or pedestrians, a history of prior accidents or near misses, concerns expressed by those within the agency and other facts that provide reasonable notice that the Fulton County roadway was unsafe.
Fulton County unsafe highway accidents can be complicated and require an experienced personal injury attorney who understands what is involved in claims against government entities. As a general rule, the state of Georgia and its political subdivisions have governmental immunity, but there are certain circumstances under which this immunity is deemed to be waived. The unique facts of a particular situation have to be evaluated in this regard. It is important to note that lawsuits and claims against government entities, including those based on unsafe highways, must comply with special legal requirements, deadlines and notice requirements under laws that waive this immunity.
One common form of highway accident involves unsafe or missing guardrails. Although guardrails are intended to protect drivers and passengers, they can increase the risk for motorists under certain circumstances. By way of example, guardrails with turn down end treatments have been the cause of many devastating injuries to vehicle occupants. When guardrails are not designed to collapse when struck by lighter passenger or economy cars, the vehicle may skid along the guardrail and be launched off the roadway or into traffic. While the Federal Highway Administration banned installing future turn down guardrails more than a decade and a half ago and directed states to remove those in place, many states have been slow to comply.
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