Median Barrier Collisions
It takes only a few seconds for a car that is traveling along the highway to cross over the median and enter oncoming traffic. Head-on collisions at these speeds are likely to produce catastrophic injuries or deaths. Median barriers have been erected throughout Southern California to separate opposing traffic flows on divided highways in an effort to protect drivers from median crossovers. However, these barriers result in a trade-off whereby cross-median accidents are prevented, but there is an overall increase in accidents. In some cases, drivers are injured in median barrier collisions. At Sharifi Firm, our Los Angeles car accident attorneys may be able to help people who have been hurt or have had loved ones killed in median barrier collisions.Seeking Compensation for a Median Barrier Collision
There are different types of median barriers. Generally, the goal in designing and placing medians is to protect motorists going in opposite directions and also to protect the safety of people inside a vehicle that is crossing over. Median barriers may be rigid, semi-rigid, or flexible. Concrete barriers are rigid barriers that tend to be effective where there is heavy truck traffic. They require little maintenance but may also result in more serious injuries because they absorb little energy when a car crashes into them. Semi-rigid barriers are often metal railings that may be hard to install in some locations, but they absorb energy and tend to deflect a car that collides with them. Flexible barriers include cable medians, which cost less to install initially but require more maintenance after a crash.
Often, a passenger in a car that collides with a median barrier has a cause of action against the driver of the vehicle. A driver who is fatigued, drunk, or distracted is more likely to wander into a median. In most cases, the passenger would need to establish the driver's negligence to recover damages from the driver or their insurer. In other words, the passenger will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver failed to use reasonable care and hit the median because of this failure, thereby resulting in injuries to the passenger.
In some cases, however, the passenger may have a claim against the owner of the median barrier or the State of California for negligently designing or placing the barrier. Generally, governmental entities have sovereign immunity from suit except when they have expressly waived their immunity. The state will not be held liable for a defectively designed or placed median barrier if it shows a causal relationship between the project design and the collision, discretionary approval of the design before it was constructed, and substantial evidence to support the design's reasonableness. However, roads and circumstances change, and design immunity for the State may be lost if a plaintiff can show that the design under changed physical conditions has produced a dangerous condition of property. The evidence must show that the design of the median produced a dangerous condition of which the state is aware.Retain an Experienced Car Accident Attorney in the Los Angeles Area
At Sharifi Firm, our experienced Los Angeles lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation if you suffered injuries in a median barrier collision. We can evaluate the facts and determine whether you may have a claim against another party. The window for providing the government with notice for a personal injury lawsuit is very small. You should contact us immediately after an accident to avoid losing any rights. Contact us online or call us at (866) 422-7222 for a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney. Our firm also represents injured people in Temecula, Riverside, Rancho Cucamonga, Glendale, Covina, and San Bernardino, among other Southern California cities.