Legal Review: What to Do When Unsafe Roads Cause an Accident

By Personal Injury Attorney Jamie Karek of Commonwealth Law Group

Virginia has a problem. They want to keep their drivers safe, so they install metal road reflectors that are supposed to help guide drivers. Unfortunately, now those very safety measures are starting to hurt drivers. They have caused several car accidents already and when they do, accident victims can file a claim for compensation.

The biggest problem with the metal reflectors is that they weigh over five pounds. When they come loose from the road, they fly into the air and land — sometimes on a driver’s windshield. The driver could then become injured by the broken glass, or it could cause them to get into an accident with another vehicle.

This sounds traumatic, and it is. It is also something that has happened to 90 people over the past five years alone. When they do happen, motorists should understand they can file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

When a government agency is negligent, as they have been with these reflectors, they can still be held liable. However, these claims are much more difficult than other personal injury cases. This is why the help of an experienced attorney, and swift action, is absolutely necessary.

It is fairly clear that the Commonwealth has previously been negligent; these reflectors have been found to cause auto accidents not only in Virginia, but in other states, as well. In fact, only nine states still use them.

Virginia also has access to reflectors that could help drivers in extreme weather, but that do not have the same risks associated with them. These reflectors are plastic and weigh only two ounces each. If one was to come loose from the road and hit a windshield, it is highly unlikely that a car accident would result. If that is not negligence, it is hard to say what is.

Neither the Virginia Department of Transportation Commissioner nor the manufacture of the reflectors, the Ennis-Flint Company, has responded to questions pertaining to the dangerous reflectors. If too many more people are hurt, they may be forced to.

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