Poorly designed or maintained transportation infrastructure can be a contributing factor to a motor vehicle accident.
When a motor vehicle accident happens, there can be many contributing factors for the crash. While human error, negligence or recklessness in driving comes to mind first, sometimes, the degraded condition or poor design of a road or bridge can also be a direct factor.
The Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers has released its 2018 Infrastructure Report Card and the results are not encouraging. The aging state infrastructure received a grade of C- overall, but two components relevant to the risk of motor vehicle accidents did poorly. Bridges received a C- and roads a D+.
The condition of state bridges
Concerning state bridges, the report found:
- Deficient in structure: 7.8 percent
- Fair condition and at risk of becoming structurally deficient: 62.6 percent
- More than 50 years old and “beyond their design life”: More than half
- Structurally deficient by deck area: Third largest percentage in poor condition of all states
- Deficient bridge rail systems: About 56 percent
If investigation of a car accident reveals that the maintenance or design of a bridge contributed to the mishap, it is important that an experienced lawyer be involved because it can be challenging to identify potentially responsible parties. The report says that bridges in Connecticut may be owned by federal or state government entities, municipalities or even private entities.
There can be unique legal challenges to suing governmental entities, so a knowledgeable attorney should be consulted. In addition, if the responsible governmental entity hired an engineering, construction or maintenance company to design, build or maintain a bridge, that entity could have performed the work in a negligent manner and thereby contributed to the crash.
The state of Connecticut roadways
According to the report, the state has more than 20,000 miles of public roads, but more than 50 percent of roadways are at least 55 years old, with a majority in fair or poor condition. Combined with Connecticut having the third busiest network of roads nationally with one-tenth of state routes over capacity, the risk of motor vehicle accident is obvious.
The report card cites CTDOT as saying that the “transportation system is at the brink of breaking, [and] aging infrastructure, traffic congestion, and long-delayed planning have placed the Connecticut economy and quality of life at risk …”
Any time the investigation of a motor vehicle accident suggests problems with road design or maintenance, legal counsel for the victims of the crash will determine whether any public or private entities may be responsible for those deficiencies and if there are potential legal remedies against them.
The lawyers of Jacobs & Dow, LLC, in New Haven, Connecticut, represent the victims of motor vehicle accidents in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.