Practice Area: Collisions and Defective Cars

ENVIRONMENT

Dangerous Roads
The attorneys at The Brandi Law Firm have successfully secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients injured as a result of defectively designed and improperly maintained roads, intersections, highways, and roadway safety equipment. Defective roadway design cases can involve almost any element of a street, highway, or freeway, including:

  • Signs
  • Lights
  • Barriers
  • Medians
  • Lane Markers
  • Intersections
  • Exit Ramps
  • Shoulders

Many personal injury attorneys will pursue a claim against an insurance company when their client is injured in an auto accident. However, like with defective auto parts, the environment in which the accident took place must be examined and investigated. A defect in roadway design or the absence or failure of roadway safety equipment can cause accidents. We examine the entire accident for all possible avenues of causation and liability.

Thomas Brandi has extensive experience with roadway design defect cases as a former lawyer for the California Department of Transportation. That experience has created a law firm with a reputation to handle these difficult lawsuits through trial.

Single Vehicle Incidents
Most people view injuries and property damage following an accident as the fault of the driver who caused the accident. Therefore, when a single vehicle accident occurs, people often assume the accident was their own fault. However, Brandi Lawyers know that this is often untrue. With over 150 years of experience, we are experts in looking past the conduct of the driver to determine if a road feature or automotive defect contributed to the incident or worsened the injuries.

Brandi Lawyers have successfully represented countless drivers and passengers involved in single vehicle accidents against the State of California and numerous Cities and Counties for defectively designed or improperly maintained roads. Thomas Brandi was a former lawyer for the California Department of Transportation and through that experience Brandi Lawyers know how to proceed in these complex cases to establish public property liability where it is often overlooked.

In addition to our investigation of the roadway, we evaluate each single vehicle incident for possible manufacturing defects, engineering defects, design defects and other auto component defects, which can cause car parts to fail. We use the proof of the defect and the extent of the injuries that have resulted to build a strong product liability case for fair and equitable compensation and have recovered for our clients in actions against all of the major vehicle manufacturers.

Crossover Accidents
When a vehicle crosses over into the opposite direction of traffic, the results can be tragic. Crossover accidents are one of the highest speed impacts that can occur. Often the crossover vehicle was driven by someone who made a mistake, was negligent, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Given the high likelihood of catastrophic injuries, the crossover driver rarely has sufficient insurance to compensate for the damage they cause.

Many state roads and highways have median barriers designed to contain vehicles in their direction of travel. However, many roads still lack these safety features, even where there is a significant history of crossover collisions. Thomas Brandi has tried several crossover cases to verdict, leading to placement of the first median barrier on a 2-lane highway in California which is normally not warranted under State design guidelines.

Deficient Signs and Signals
TO BE PROVIDED
Inadequate Road Shoulders
As we drive down a road or highway we don’t normally analyze the adequacy of the shoulder next to the traveled way, but the size and quality of the shoulder can cause or worsen an accident. There are guidelines that address shoulders because it is well known that vehicles need a recovery area in the event that they travel out of the lane. Often, single vehicle accidents can be linked to inadequate shoulders on the roadway.

When a roadway shoulder is too small, drops off too steeply, or is made of the wrong material, it can actually cause a car to lose control. For example, soft shoulders are often made of gravel or other non-asphalt material. When a vehicle has two wheels on the road and two wheels on the soft shoulder, it causes different coefficients of friction on wheels, often leading to an overcorrection and accident.

In order to properly investigate these incidents, the attorney must dig into the design and “as-built” plans to determine the intended shoulder dimensions and materials and whether or not the roadway was in a dangerous condition.

Dangerous Intersections
Intersections create a unique potential for conflicts between drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Appropriate traffic control systems, signage, and visibility are required to prevent accidents at intersections. When intersections are poorly designed, marked or maintained, accidents are investable.

Sometimes intersections are designed with insufficient traffic controls, or crosswalks are created by traffic planners in places where oncoming cars cannot see them. Other times, a once well-designed intersection may have become a road hazard with the passage of time, such as when the crosswalk’s paint becomes so worn that drivers approaching the intersection cannot see it or when increased traffic necessitates a dedicated left turn lane.

When an accident occurs at an intersection, Brandi Lawyers investigate all potential contributing factors. We seek the original intersection plans, signage and warning history, and investigate any changes that may lead to the intersection becoming a dangerous condition.

Whether due to dangerous design, failure to include markings, or inadequate visibility, Brandi Lawyers are experts in evaluating intersections and discovering often overlooked dangerous conditions.