Some Georgians can be severely injured or killed when they strike guardrails, especially when they hit the end portion of the rails. Cases have been reported in which the guardrail endpoints slice through vehicles that hit them rather than deflecting away from the cars. Some of these problems are caused by design flaws while others result from the negligent maintenance of breakaway cables that are supposed to cause the guardrails to deflect away from the vehicles upon impact.
Cases in Tennessee, Maryland and Florida have all resulted in severe injuries or deaths when people were impaled by guardrails after striking their endpoints. The endpoints that are commonly used are manufactured by Trinity Highway Products, a Texas company that holds the patents for the end guards. The initial design that was used through the 90s was highly effective in preventing serious injuries and fatalities. When the company redesigned them in order to come up with a cheaper version, problems arose.
In addition to the potential design flaws, some severe injury and fatality cases occur because the breakaway cables are maintained negligently. The cables are designed to break away, allowing the guardrails to swing away from the cars while also helping them to come to safe stops. When the cables are not repaired or maintained, they may fail, allowing the impalement to occur.
People who are seriously injured and the families of people who are killed in guardrail accidents might want to consult with personal injury lawyers. Attorneys may be able to determine whether the cables were negligently maintained, leading them to fail. Attorneys may seek the maximum compensation for their clients so that they might be fairly compensated for the losses that the accidents have caused them to suffer. They may negotiate settlements for their clients or advocate for them through jury trials.