Today a driver was seriously injured when she careened over an embankment at a sharp curve on Lakeshore Road, near Ontario Ave, in Cicero, near the edge of Oneida Lake. Some witnesses say the car was going too fast, but a neighbor was quoted in the paper saying the curve has a history of bad crashes.
The “history of bad crashes” caught my eye. By force of habit, my NY car accident lawyer thinking cap went on. Get under that cap with me for a moment.
Here’s my stream of thought: “Could this unfortunate driver, even if she was going a bit too fast, bring a claim against the State, County, Town or whoever designed the roadway? Did the design of the roadway contribute to her car accident? Was the posted speed limit too fast? Were there adequate signs announcing the curve? Should they have installed flashing yellow lights or other hazard warnings for the curve?”
In New York, this kind of case can sometimes prevail if the signage, speed limit or design of the roadway evolved haphazardly, without a reasonable governmental study or plan, or were the result of an inadequate plan or study. Some of the questions that will come up in such a case are: Did the design of the roadway, or inadequate signage, or a too-fast speed limit, help cause the accident? Did the roadway design, signage and speed limit comply with the highway engineering standards at the time the roadway was built? Did the government learn of other similar accidents over the years — accidents that should have tipped it off that the design, signage or speed limit should be re-considered — and yet they fail to take a second look?
Accidents often have more than one cause. Many times there is plenty of blame to spread around. And sometimes some of that blame falls squarely on the government agency that designed the road.
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Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central NY Car Accident Lawyers Michaels & Smolak, P.C.