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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
Attorney • (877) 377-7848

Roadway Hazards: Danger is Looming

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A poorly designed roadway, intersection, or means of controlling traffic, such as a traffic light can cause or contribute to an auto accident. Poorly placed and poorly designed road signs or barriers can also be a factor. This may be the case in a Missouri auto accident last week. The driver of a Ford F-150 was travelling northbound on Highway 94 when a woman attempted to enter the southbound lane. The driver side of her vehicle was struck by the F-150. The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital in serious condition; the woman with minor injuries. A week prior, a man was fatally killed in nearly the same location when his F-150 overturned.

Are these two accidents a coincidence or do they indicate a stretch of unsafe road? Although the majority of automobile accidents are due to driver error or driver distraction, sometimes an auto accident is actually caused by poor road design or road conditions. The dangerous conditions of a roadway can include weather, poor design or maintenance, or the presence of objects or debris on the roadway. Sometimes mistakes are made in the design or installation of the road surface. Unfortunately, this latent defect isn’t usually discovered until someone is seriously injured or killed, or until there is a lawsuit.

Dangerous road hazards most often stem from faulty design, construction, maintenance, or failure by the government to make road changes to adapt to new conditions. Following are some examples of dangerous road condition:

  • Dangerous curves, slopes and dips in road layout
  • Hazards obstructing visibility at dangerous intersections and crosswalks
  • Dangerous street drop-offs such as ravines or cliffs
  • Entrance and exit ramps that are dangerously short or don’t allow safe merging
  • Defective or missing guard rails
  • Pavement with inadequate skid resistance
  • Improper drainage
  • Absent, defective, or improper warning signage
  • Poorly placed and dangerous highway traffic signals
  • Dangerous surfaces from potholes

Dangerous roadway lawsuit cases are difficult and expensive. They require an extensive investigation of the roadway and its history. This is especially critical when the roadway has been the site of previous accidents. Government entities can be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of improperly maintained or designed roads. The issue in these cases is whether the government failed to fulfill its obligations of making sure a dangerous road is somewhat forgiving of driver error. Successful cases not only benefit the client, they directly force changes in dangerous road conditions that can save lives.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.