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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. When a roadway is poorly designed or road signs and barriers poorly placed, it can cause or contribute to an auto accident and require an extensive investigation of the roadway and its history. This is especially critical when the roadway has been the site of previous accidents.

A 24-year-old Lansing, MI man is in critical condition after crashing his vehicle into a local church.  He was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.  Fortunately, no one was in the church at the time of the accident.  It may be days until police know what caused the accident, but it appears that speeding was a factor.

Although this is the first time a vehicle has crashed into the church, it is not the first major accident in the area.  Residents have been concerned about this stretch of road for years, saying the curve in the road is the issue.  There have been numerous accidents where drivers hit trees, signs, and light poles.  Accidents happen so often; some tire marks and divots in the grass aren’t even from the most recent accident.  One resident said that people are either driving too fast or not expecting the curve. Church members are even warned to be extra careful.

As police continue their investigation, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is evaluating the curve and discussing what can be done to prevent future tragedies, including signage, design of the roadway and curve, and barriers.  While dangerous curves often have low speed limits, an unexpected sharp curve after a stretch of straight road may lack sufficient advance warning that drivers must slow down and be extra cautious. In addition to guardrails, appropriate signage should be posted far in advance. Guardrails may not prevent the accident, but they will usually minimize the severity of injuries.

Although the driver may have been driving carelessly, failure to avoid foreseeable events from turning tragic is a form of negligence. Drivers have a right to expect that their government won’t allow dangerous roads to cause accidents.  If it is determined that the government failed to fulfill its obligations of making sure the road is somewhat forgiving of driver error, it can be held liable for injuries.  Proving a dangerous roadway caused an auto accident can be a long legal process and difficult to prove, but successful cases not only benefit the victims, but indirectly force changes in dangerous road conditions that can save lives – changes that might not otherwise happen.

Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen 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 cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff 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, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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