Four Teens Killed in Car Accident Due to Poor Road Construction
On October 9th, 2012, four teenagers were killed in a tragic car accident when the driver lost control of his vehicle and slid across lanes of traffic. The car skidded through thee road uncontrolled until it slammed into two trees, killing four people. The driver of the vehicle was a 17-year-old who did not have his license. He owned a learner’s permit, which only permitted him to drive when under the supervision of an adult over 21 years of age. According to reports, the driver was heading westbound on a portion of the Southern State Parkway known as “Dead Man’s Curve” which los located near Exit 17 in Hempstead, New York. The road has an incline, a curve and a blind spot, and has long been a scene for accidents. When an irresponsible or unlicensed driver tries to take the curve, the results have often been disastrous.
The police are still investigating the accident and trying to determine whether or not the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the collision. They have determined that he was driving without a license and was only permitted to drive between 9:00am and 5:00om when accompanied by a licensed, adult driver. This accident raises issues of potential negligent highway construction and safety. Because this curve is so dangerous and has been the scene of so many accidents, there should be adequate road signs warning people of the dangers. When a sign is not posted correctly, this case needs to be investigated differently than a traditional road wreck case.
For example, the open records requests for the State of New York Department of Transportation, County and City governments, and other entities may be needed to obtain the site plans and determine the responsibilities of each party involved for roadway and equipment safety. Construction plans provide the names of the contractors and determine who is responsible for the traffic control in that area. The police should take photos of the scene of the accident right away so that they can document the evidence and try to explain how the accident happened. If you have been injured in an accident on a characteristically dangerous roadway, then you may be able to sue the engineer or the party responsible for the dangerous location.
In some cases, the Department of Transportation may also bear some responsibility in the collision. Certain rules and regulations govern the placement of traffic control signs and it is the DOT’s duty to inspect the placement of these warnings. IF the DOT does not inspect these signs as was required, then this can cause them to be liable for the accident. A word of caution, state and county governments can share certain levels of immunity from a car accident lawsuit, so be sure that your attorney is familiar with all these rules and requirements before bringing the claim against a state or county government. If you hire an attorney who does not know about these special exceptions, the lawsuit may be dismissed for failure to comply with legal permissions.
In road construction/defect cases, it is critical that you hire a former highway engineer, accident reconstructions, or another expert who can prove that there were defects in the road. Whether it’s the lack of a highway sign or afailure to maintain the road, you will want to show that maintenance issues were the direct cause of your injury. Experts at our firm can help to explore the many different types of highway and road defects. These include:
- Non-compliant or eroding berms
- Inadequate traffic controls
- Improper signage or roadway markings
- Speed limits that are too high
- Obstructions that have been set in the road
- Bad engineering
If you have been unfairly treated and have not been given the compensation that is rightfully yours when you have been injured, a Bronx personal injury lawyer at The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. can help. Contact a Bronx personal injury attorney from our office to take on your case.