Yesterday, February 23, professional golfer Tiger Woods was involved in a serious single-vehicle car accident in California. While most crashes involving a single vehicle are handled by insurance rather than a personal injury claim, there are exceptions. One of those – a poor road design – may be at play in this case.
Tiger Woods Hurt in Car Crash
The accident happened early in the morning. Woods was driving northbound on Hawthorne Boulevard in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, when he lost control of his vehicle. He crossed the median in the divided highway, passed through the two southbound lanes, went over the curb and into a field, flipped over several times, and hit a tree.
Woods was hospitalized for serious injuries to his leg, ankle, and foot, including several compound fractures – broken bones that pierce through the skin. While most broken bones are not considered serious injuries, these come with a significant risk of infection – a risk realized by former Kansas City Chief quarterback Alex Smith.
Roadway Known for Serious Accidents
This particular stretch of Hawthorne Boulevard is known by locals as an extremely dangerous mile-and-a-half. It features an S-curve and a significant downward slope going northwards. The slope is steep enough for there to be numerous warning signs for trucks to use a low gear, as well as multiple runaway truck ramps. The descent can leave drivers unaware of how fast they are going, leaving them unable to handle the curvy roadway.
The police officer who responded to Woods’ crash admitted that the area was “one of our trouble spots,” and that his department regularly tickets drivers for going 80mph on the 45mph road.
Poor Road Designs Can Lead to Lawsuits
Typically, when there is a single-vehicle accident, the driver will bear their own costs and losses or file an insurance claim to have their insurance company cover them. In some cases, like if the driver was drunk or speeding excessively, their car insurance company will deny the claim because the crash falls outside the coverage of the insurance policy.
However, there are circumstances where the driver in a single-vehicle accident was not actually the real cause of the crash. One of those circumstances is when the road they were driving on was so poorly designed that it contributed to the accident.
Roads should be designed and made in ways that are reasonably safe for the drivers who are bound to use them. If they are not reasonably safe, it can lead to liability.
Showing that a road’s design is not reasonably safe is not easy. While a track record of accidents certainly helps – something that this particular stretch of road has – it is also important to draw out the different features that contribute to the unsafe conditions that can contribute to a crash.
Car Accident Lawyers at the Smith Law Office Serve St. Joseph
The car accident attorneys at the Smith Law Office strive to legally represent accident victims in St. Joseph, Kansas City, and Springfield. While poor road design is a rare argument to make, these cases do occasionally come up. Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373.