Sometimes, accidents are not caused by the fault of a motor vehicle driver. You may be wondering if you read that correctly, but it is true – several accidents happen across Washington State every year due to dangerous highways.
Even the best and most experienced drivers may not be able to avoid a car accident once they encounter a dangerous, defective, or poorly designed or maintained highway with no warnings.
Recent accidents that occurred on highways in Washington
In late June, there were a few very serious accidents that occurred on highways in the state of Washington.
- Around 3:40 a.m., a pedestrian was struck and killed on a highway. The person who died was a 41-year-old man named Evelio Cruz who was walking on Interstate 82 in Pasco, Washington. He was hit by a vehicle as he was walking on a ramp. It is unknown why he was walking at the time.
- A crash occurred on the Road 68 off-ramp from Interstate 182 in Pasco, Washington. The driver, a 52-year-old man, was driving east when he wrecked his vehicle around 5:00 p.m. Emergency medical technicians were called to the scene to remove him from the car.
- A couple was struck by a pickup truck when they were crossing Highway 395 around 3:00 p.m. They were in a pickup truck making a left-hand turn when they were struck by another pickup truck. The wife died at the scene, while the husband died at the hospital soon after being transported. The 20-year-old male in the truck that struck them had no injuries.
What makes highways so dangerous?
Highways are one of the most dangerous roads for vehicles to travel in Washington for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Vehicles traveling at high speeds
- Heavy traffic
- Lack of traffic signs and signals
- Obstructed views
- Lack of sidewalks
Unlike local roads, highways do not typically have stop signs or stop lights. As a result, drivers have the ability to drive faster, pass and change lanes more frequently, and share the roads with more people. While this may seem like a good thing, these small differences between local roads and highways can lead to severe and deadly accidents.
What can make a road or highway dangerous in Kennewick, WA?
Besides the typical highway features mentioned above, there are a variety of other inconveniences that may arise when you are driving on a road or highway. Sometimes, the road is designed poorly, or it is poorly maintained. Some of the more dangerous Kennewick roads are ones with:
- Missing or inadequate barriers and guardrails
- Dangerous ramps
- Dangerous curves and turns
- No protections from rocks or other roadside hazards
- Inadequate road drainage systems
- Debris in the middle of the highway
- Potholes or significant road damage
- Old and worn roads that need repaving
- Not enough lighting
- Hidden, missing, or inadequate traffic signs
- Uneven roads
As you can see, a highway can become dangerous in many ways. If a highway is properly designed, it must be properly maintained and kept up going forward. If it is neglected, it will quickly become dangerous for drivers.
What are some of the most dangerous highways in Washington State?
According to King 5 News, the Washington State Patrol named these six roadways as the most dangerous in Washington State
- Interstate 5: There were 45 fatalities on Interstate 5.
- Interstate 90: Interstate 90 saw 20 fatalities.
- U.S. Highway 101: This highway had 13 fatal accidents.
- Interstate 97: There were 12 fatalities on Interstate 97.
- State Route 14: Nine people lost their lives on State Route 14.
- State Route 7: State Route 7 saw nine fatal crashes.
Who can be held accountable for your highway car accident?
Many people assume that the driver of the vehicle is always liable for a car accident, but the truth is that there can be other parties who are responsible for a highway car accident. A Kennewick car accident attorney from Telaré Law will investigate and determine who should be held accountable for your accident. A few of the possible parties that we may consider are:
- Highway designers
- Washington State Department of Transportation and other government agencies
- Highway owner
- Roadway maintenance crews and companies
- Streetlight installation companies
- Car manufacturers
- Construction companies
- Vehicle drivers
If your car accident lawyer can prove that the responsible party knew about the unsafe highway conditions or design, there is a good chance that you will have a viable legal claim against the party.
How much is a highway car accident case worth?
Every legal case is unique and different, but in general, the compensation you can seek in a car crash is directly related to the injuries and losses you sustain. Think about it: if your parked car gets clipped by a driver doing the speed limit in a parking lot, and you suffer no injury at all, then the costs are likely limited to repairs and rentals, right? But if a drunk driver who comes flying onto the highway from an on-ramp ends up smashing into you, pushing your car across multiple lanes or into a rock wall, the chances are good that you will suffer horrific injuries that will cause you pain for the rest of your life. You may not be able to work. You may need to hire professional cleaning services or daycare services because you can’t take care of your home or watch your children. If you do recover, your car might not: it’s expensive to fix or replace a car.
All these costs add up. So our lawyers work with accountants, doctors, mechanics, and other professionals to determine a fair and accurate amount of money that is needed to help you get back on your feet and financially secure after the accident. Some of the losses that our clients usually claim include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
It can be a challenge to successfully prove that your car accident was caused by the government, a maintenance company, highway designer, construction company, or other negligent parties that failed to keep you safe and harm-free while driving on the highway. However, if you hire our experienced and knowledgeable Kennewick car accident attorneys, you will have peace of mind knowing that you are in good legal hands and that your rights will remain protected. Call Telaré Law or submit our contact form today to schedule a free consultation. We maintain an additional office in Richland for your convenience.