Let us say you were driving on Highway 2 in a rainstorm when a falling boulder struck your car. You swerved, narrowly missing another vehicle and crashed into the hilly side of the road.
This area of Highway 2 is avalanche-prone with little protection for vehicles. Can you hold the state responsible for your accident?
Road design improved steadily over the course of the 20th century, and now that we are in the 21 century, we expect even more in the way of road safety. Unfortunately, highway construction is still subject to design flaws as well as mistakes attributable to human error and lack of proper maintenance. Proper highway safety features include barriers and guard rails, but highway maintenance is also important. Highway 2 has many dangerous curves and has been the scene of numerous accidents. In an area prone to landslides, lack of attention to the dangers of the natural environment may well be the cause of that falling boulder that struck your car.
Looking for signs
Every Washington resident knows that inclement weather can set in at any time. Therefore, highway safety is especially important. In a landslide area, motorists should expect to see signage that warns of potential danger. The road surface should also be free of bumps and potholes, and the lane markings should be clear. Were any of these elements missing when your accident occurred?
Fortunately, the tumbling boulder incident caused more damage to your car than to your person, although you suffered both shoulder and knee injuries. You are looking at some medical expenses, lost wages and, of course, the damage to your vehicle. Who is responsible? There is such a thing as negligent highway design, and that includes insufficient protection from hazards like falling boulders. The state of Washington will likely be the negligent party in your case, so explore your legal options without delay.