Nicole Rader Seriously Injured In Vallejo Car Accident After Black SUV Became Impaled By Metal Guardrail On Highway 37
VALLEJO, CALIFORNIA (May 2, 2019) – A 33-year-old woman identified as Nicole Rader was seriously injured in a car accident on Highway 37 after a black SUV was impaled by a metal guardrail In Sonoma County.
California Highway Patrol are saying the vehicle somehow ended up on the right shoulder before hitting the guardrail. The guardrail traveled completely through the vehicle and seriously injured Nicole Rader who was a passenger in the SUV. It missed 18-year-old Pittsburg resident Victor Miranda who was the driver.
Firefighters and paramedics rushed to the scene of the accident in order to help Nicole Rader. A picture of the accident scene showed the guardrail completely spearing the car and going through the back window.
There is an ongoing investigation into the Solano County guardrail accident.
What Causes Guardrail Accidents
Guardrails are designed to protect drivers from hitting rigid objects or from going over cliffs. But in far too many situations guardrails themselves become hazards that seriously maim or kill drivers and their passengers. Trinity Industries guardrails and guardrails manufactured by Lindsay Transportation Solutions have come under particular scrutiny in recent years.
The photo listed above shows a car impaled by an X-Lite end terminal manufactured by Lindsay Transportation Solutions. Tragically, the driver in that accident was hit by the guardrail and died due to their injuries. When a guardrail is functioning properly it is supposed to decelerate a vehicle slowly and directly it away from traffic. However, defects within some end terminals have caused them to ‘lock-up’ and act as spears.
Trinity Industries Inc., another guardrail manufacturer, has faced numerous lawsuits after it was discovered that they altered the design of their end terminal. Plaintiffs attorneys have alleged that this new design made the guardrails more likely to lock up and seriously injure drivers and passengers. Depending on the facts of any case there may be numerous sources of potential liability for a guardrail accident.
Liability In Guardrail Accidents
Cities and counties have a legal responsibility to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner. According to the California Civil Code § 1714 subsection (a), “Everyone is responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.” This includes taking measures to make sure that guardrails and other traffic safety devices are in a reasonably safe condition.
There are a number of potential ways that a city or general contractor could be liable for a guardrail accident. For example, guardrails should be installed properly. Failing to install a guardrail correctly can dramatically increase the likelihood that it malfunctions and injures someone. Guardrails also need periodic maintenance and repairs if they are damaged. Most companies provide their clients with training manuals on what needs to be done, but these recommendations are not always followed.
A company that manufacturers guardrails may also be liable for an accident through a product liability claim. Companies are responsible for creating products that are reasonably safe. According to Cornell Law School, there are three broad ways in which a product manufacturer may incur liability for their device:
- Design Defects: “Design defects are inherent, as they exist before the product is manufactured.While the item might serve its purpose well, it can be unreasonably dangerous to use due to a design flaw.”
- Manufacturing Defects: “Manufacturing defects occur during the construction or production of the item.”
- Defects In Marketing: “Defects in marketing deal with improper instructions and failures to warn consumers of latent dangers in the product”
Victims of guardrail accidents are often seriously injured. A number of passengers have suffered limb amputations, spinal cord injuries, head injuries or other serious trauma. Any person involved in an accident with a guardrail may have legal recourse through a bodily injury claim. A personal injury attorney can investigate your case free of cost and let you know what your rights are. You may be entitled to financial compensation in order to cover your lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.
Getting Help After A Guardrail Accident
We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our thoughts and prayers to Nicole Rader and Victor Miranda as they recover from this horrific Vallejo guardrail accident. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. Investigators should look to determine what type of guardrail was involved and if it may have been defective. A properly functioning guardrail is not supposed to spear vehicles.
Have you or someone that you love been injured by a malfunctioning guardrail? Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have about your rights. We are committed to making sure that accident victims get the medical and financial support that they need to fully recover. We can take steps to make sure that evidence in your case is being preserved and that your rights are being protected. Whether you are looking to get more information about an accident or just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.